Intergenerational care is defined by Generations United as opportunities for younger and older generations to interact and become engaged for the benefit of all involved. Both young and older participants learn about one another and engage with each other.
Research shows there are many physical and mental health benefits of intergenerational care. The younger age group learn compassion for older adults, including feeling more comfortable around those that are disabled or unwell. Children learn lessons and gain friendships from the older adults that are a part of their lives, and often gain a role model.
Older adults with close intergenerational connections consistently report better physical health, less feelings of loneliness and depression and tend to be happier with their present life. Interaction with children may also lead to a regained sense of purpose and better optimism for the future.
In our senior living communities, we have seen the benefits of interactions between older and younger generations first hand. Younger volunteers around the state have provided smiles, laughter and good conversation for our residents. We have many example just in the last few months of successful intergenerational care in the Christian Care communities.
- In Hopkinsville, local youth groups have delivered homemade fidget sleeves for our memory care programs.
- In Taylorsville, a youth baseball team did a service project including weeding, planting flowers and mulching around the community. Our residents were thrilled to watch them work, and had lots of questions about their baseball season.
- Miss My Old Kentucky Home, Brooke Way, played the violin at a resident cookout in Corbin. Residents not only liked the music, but they loved chatting with her.
The value of these intergenerational connections is abundant and can bridge the gap between older adults and children. These interactions between individuals from different places and times, with different outlooks on life, to engage and learn from one another.
Generations United shares many stories of genuine connection between older adults and children that leaves both sides better off. Please visit their website to learn more!