Juul and Jules
…completing the circle
Huis Perrekes wants to offer guidance attuned to everyone, supporting people with dementia as well as children growing up. This point of view gave rise to ‘Juul and Jules’.
Huis Perrekes creates opportunities for ‘young Juul’ and ‘older Jules’ to connect. Juul et Jules are two popular Belgian names that are representative of a generational difference, each being rather typical for a respectively younger or older generation. From early childhood onwards, children become acquainted with diversity: with children who are ’different’, older people, people with dementia, care-givers from different cultures…
Huis Perrekes wants to encourage children and residents to use their abilities and discover their talents. This happens in a safe, sheltered and stimulating environment that safeguards the greatest possible autonomy. The focus is always on both the children’s as well as the residents’ lived experience. Respectful guidance is key. The child can still be a child.
Together, we go in search of the meaning of a half-spoken word, a tear, a smile or an anger-attack.
‘Juul and Jules’ resounds the conscious choice for both decompartmentalising health care and integrating in the town. As such, the philosophy of Huis Perrekes lives on in the cooperation with the local nursery and primary school.
In collaboration with the local primary school, residents from Huis Perrekes engage in ‘tandem reading sessions’ with the children of the first grade on a weekly basis. Residents listen attentively and patiently to the young readers.
Every month, the children are creatively stimulated during a workshop of their choice at Huis Perrekes. Staff members organise workshops on themes ranging from music and movement to nature and working with fabrics. Residents and guests of Huis Perrekes are welcome to participate. Enriching and enchanting interactions arise between child and adult. The atmosphere allows them to meet each other as friendly neighbours. All the while, each person is encouraged to engage in the activity according to his own ability.
The children of the second grade come and sing along at the two-weekly rehearsals of the Betties, the intergenerational choir of Huis Perrekes (link). Every child is next to a resident and a mentor, so that a relationship of trust can grow. Young and old offer each other support and comfort, thus giving rise to burgeoning and spontaneous reactions.
Common thread – organised at Huis Perrekes. Annelies Van Bellingen invites children from the local Freinetschool, staff members and family members to learn how to handle a needle, thread, wool, textile, clay, paint… Creativity is welcomed.
Huis Perrekes regularly accommodates staff members’ children to play together, to welcome Santa Claus, to offer a helping hand… During summer, the children from the ‘Juul and Jules’ project stay at Huis Perrekes during the day for about six weeks. They become a solid group, from baby to teenager. They inspire each other and grow (up) together. In a familiar environment, they can feel at home, supported and connected with each other, with the elderly, their mentors, with nature… ‘Juul and Jules’ connects young and old, keeps us in motion and completes the circle.
Through ‘Juul and Jules’, we examine the feasibility of our ambition to embed permanent and accustomed child-care in the continuum of care at Huis Perrekes.