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New book to help children understand care

A new book aimed at helping children navigate the emotional journey when an elderly relative moves into care has been launched at a Croydon home.

Finding Nana, an illustrated fictional book written by Jenni Bacon with illustrations by Sophie Parmenter, is believed to be the first-of-its-kind to help children explore the experience of visiting a relative in care for the first time.

The book, launched at MHA’s Hall Grange care home, has been published by national care charity MHA in partnership with the Methodist Church. It follows the story of Ellie and Jack as they discover what happens when their Nana moves into ‘the care home.’

The story is based on real-life experiences, with author Jenni having spent time speaking to care home residents and their family members, as well as MHA chaplains. Feedback from school children and their parents and people who worked in MHA care homes helped to shape the book.

The idea for Finding Nana came from the late Crispian Acher, Head of Chaplaincy at MHA, who sadly died suddenly as the book was being published. He realised in conversations with colleagues that there was nothing available to help children if an older relative went to live in a care home.

Rev Gill Newton, president of the Methodist Conference, and MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan were both in attendance at the launch. They were joined by a group of Year 7 students from local school, Shirley Oasis Academy, and residents living at the home, who heard more about why the story was written and enjoyed a reading from the book.

Author Jenni Bacon said: “It was a privilege to be given an insight into the emotions families go through before someone moves into a care home and in particular the thoughts of children and young people.

“The feedback we got from children, parents and teachers was invaluable in making Finding Nana such a wonderful story to support families.”

MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan added: “Visiting a care home can be a daunting experience for anyone – but it’s particularly unsettling for younger children when they see someone they love moving into care.

Finding Nana aims to help families have honest and positive conversations about this experience. It also shines a light on the fantastic and unique work that our chaplaincy team does in supporting our residents and their families.”

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Upcoming Events

Care Show London

ExCel, London
24 April 2024 - 25 April 2024

Future of Care Leaders Conference

The King’s Fund, London
Tuesday 30th April 2024

Care Roadshows - Liverpool

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool
14th May 2024

Care Roadshows - Birmingham

Villa Park Stadium, Birmingham
16th May 2024

Care Home Awards

Royal Garden Hotel, London, W8 4PT
17th May 2024

Care & Occupational Therapy Show 2024

Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Wednesday 17th July 2024

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