Connecting generations can be a huge benefit to both children and seniors. Intergenerational programs that connect local schools with retirement residences bring distant generations closer together and foster communication across generational lines. Seniors have a lot to gain from intergenerational programs. Programs have proven positive effects for those with dementia, and spending time with kids can help seniors get exercise and improve their technology literacy.
#1 Technology Literacy
Today’s tech-savvy children can help seniors make leaps and bounds in technology literacy, showing them how to use devices or software that can make their lives easier. Technology is constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up with, but children adapt quickly and are happy to share their knowledge.
#2 Exercise and Activity
Older adults who work with young children are shown to burn 20% more calories and had fewer mobility issues. They relied less on canes and were less prone to falls than those who did not regularly spend time with younger kids.
#3 Positive Effects for those with Dementia
Older adults with dementia are known to have positive experiences interacting with kids more frequently than they do during activities that were non-intergenerational. Seniors even perform better on memory tests than their peers after participating in intergenerational programs.
Kids Benefit Too
Kids, too, can benefit from the experience. Studies show that kids who participated in intergenerational programs enjoyed higher reading scores, positive attitudes toward aging, and even reduced likelihood of skipping school.
Every All Seniors Care Living Centre has established intergenerational programming with local schools, where kids from kindergarten to grade 6 befriend residents and participate in activities together. They play board games, read books, colour, make arts and crafts, sing songs, and share stories. It’s an incredible opportunity for school children to learn stories about older generations, and for seniors to be around vibrant, youthful energy.
Intergenerational programs happen at our senior retirement homes about twice a month. They always leave buzzing with excitement and looking forward to the next one.
Intergenerational programs are a great time for both parties. It’s important for school children and seniors to get to know more about each other’s worlds. For kids, it can be an incredible opportunity to hear the wisdom of age, while seniors can learn about what excites and worries kids today.
For seniors, intergenerational programs give them a chance to pass on their personal wisdom and traditions. The All Seniors Care cookbook is a great example of the traditions seniors pass on and preserve. Residents have shared traditional regional recipes from Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec. These traditional recipes are how we share our love of food from across Canada.
The more generations talk to each other, the better they can understand each other’s concerns and perspectives. Every day at All Seniors Care Living Centres is different. Intergenerational programs are just another way we improve the experience at our retirement residences.
Click Here to join one of our intergenerational programs or register your school for intergenerational programs with our residents.