'Spend all your money': Elderly care home residents use boards to offer honest advice to young people

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read
Yelverton Residential Home resident Margaret had a long list of advice for young people. (SWNS)
Yelverton Residential Home resident Margaret had a long list of advice for young people. (SWNS)

Elderly care home residents have shared their pearls of wisdom with younger generations, including advice such as “spend all your money”.

Pensioners at Yelverton Residential Home in Devon shared messages to future generations on boards then held them up as part of a group activity.

The resulting images, posted on the care home’s Facebook page, went viral, and have been shared more than 11,000 times.

Staff asked residents what advice they wanted to share with the youth of today, and some of the responses were striking.

Coral told young people 'a smile goes a long way'. (SWNS)
Coral told young people 'a smile goes a long way'. (SWNS)
Care home resident Bett had just one piece of advice. (SWNS)
Care home resident Bett had just one piece of advice. (SWNS)
Tony had one simple piece of advice for future generations. (SWNS)
Tony had one simple piece of advice for future generations. (SWNS)

One resident, Margaret, told young people to "spend all your money, enjoy yourself while you're young, have some cheek and don't be pushed around”.

She also advised: "If you're nice to people more often than not they will be nice to you."

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Another, known as Bett, only had one piece of advice: “Keep your legs together."

The home in Yelverton has residents aged between 75 and 104 and staff said they had a huge amount of life experience to share with others.

Another resident, Coral, shared her advice: "Think before you ink, never go to bed without apologising for an argument”.

Tom, who was pictured with a wide grin, told young people to "have a nice Christmas."

Dottie wrote: "Always be helpful, and merry and bright."

Betty told youngsters to "work hard at school, get a good job and help others if you can."

While Tony simply added: "Be yourself."

Care home resident Betty shares her advice to the next generation. (SWNS)
Care home resident Betty shares her advice to the next generation. (SWNS)
Dottie advised others to 'always be helpful'. (SWNS)
Dottie advised others to 'always be helpful'. (SWNS)

The oldest resident in the home, Rosaleen, who is 104, also took part and wrote: "I admire them for their independence.

"They're not afraid to try anything. The young people are so much wiser than I was at that age."

Care home manager Peter Gaffney said the activity was part of a varied programme to show that spirits remained high despite the anxieties around coronavirus.

Care home resident Rosaleen, 104, offered her advice. (SWNS)
Care home resident Rosaleen, 104, offered her advice. (SWNS)

The home has already hosted activities around World Gurning Day, with its very own championship, indoor boules and tennis, cake making and fairground games.

He said: "This latest activity has gone a bit crazy and we were not expecting it at all.

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"We have got a couple of activities co-ordinators here and through the lockdown with restricted visitors we have been using our Facebook page a lot more to show families what is going on in the home.

"In the early days of COVID it was to show everyone we were fine and in good spirits.

Tom simply told young people to 'have a nice Christmas'. (SWNS)
Tom simply told young people to 'have a nice Christmas'. (SWNS)

"But then we thought we have got a lot of life experience in here, our oldest resident is 104, and they are good characters so we thought we would give this a go.

"We just asked them to put their comments down and put it out there. We want to show that without visitors life is continuing and we can still connect with them.

"We know the residents very well so some of the comments didn't surprise us. Margs is quite a character and Bett's comment about keeping your legs closed has come across well. A lot of people have liked that one as they say that is what their mums used to say to them.

"Rosaleen is 104 so it was nice to see her comments as well."

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