Care home sets up intergenerational women's group for residents

Poppy Bernard (left) with resident Jean Hymas, at De Lucy Care House Care Home in Diss.

Poppy Bernard (left) with resident Jean Hymas at De Lucy Care House Care Home in Diss. - Credit: De Lucy House

An intergenerational discussion group has been set up at a Norfolk care home to give women and girls a platform to share their life experience with one another.

De Lucy House, in Diss, set up the group following International Women’s Day and has been inviting local young women to meet and speak with its female residents.

The first meeting has already seen members reflect on how the expectations of women has changed over the years and discuss subjects such as family roles, education and work.

De Lucy House, a Greensleeves Care home in Diss, has been named one of the Top 20 Care Homes in the East of England 2021.

De Lucy House in Diss. - Credit: Greensleeves Care

Poppy Bernard, 18, who is currently on work experience placement at the home, sparked a conversation with residents Anne Shortan, Jean Hymas and June Kooji about the difference in roles of 'modern-day' women compared to when they were younger.

Ms Hymas, who was born in 1935, said: “Expectations for girls were to leave school, marry, and have children.

"Then the children always came first. It was always about having a big white wedding.”

Ms Shortan, who was born in 1928, studied Horticulture at university and was one of only three women on her course in 1946.

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She said: “Women’s choices for work were private service, nursing, office work or tills, and you were expected to give up working when you got married.”

She added: “It’s a mixed bag for young women now, it’s a wider world to have to deal with."

Some felt that life is now more complicated for women despite the extra freedoms and choice, due to "higher expectations" being placed on them.

But Ms Bernard said she is glad to be living in today's age, adding: "Although life seems more complicated to the older generation, there is so much more opportunity."

The 18-year-old is studying health and social care and will be going to university later this year to study nursing.

"Women of June, Anne and Jean’s generation helped forge the way forward to enable stronger women now," she said.

Nikki Clark, activities coordinator at De Lucy House, added: “The group is 100pc beneficial to our ladies.

"What interested me most about the discussion group was that all of the older ladies thought that life would be much harder for a young woman in today’s society and said they wouldn’t want to be a young woman today."

To get involved in the group contact the home via its website.