Aside from giving your loved one a safe living environment, a senior living community provides seniors with enrichment such as routines, entertainment, activities, and social interaction. All too often, socialization after moving into a community is only with other residents, staff, and occasional visits from friends, adult children, and siblings. However, intergenerational projects with young children can also benefit residents by providing happiness and a sense of belonging.
Kids Help Seniors Feel Youthful
Many aging adults are mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles who vividly remember dedicating hours to entertaining little ones. While rolling around on the floor or playing chase with a toddler may no longer be an option, the interaction seniors experience with little ones often brings them back to their more youthful memories.
When toddlers come barreling into the room, the excitement from seniors is unmistakable. Seniors are exceptionally helpful in teaching the developing minds of children, and in turn, the kids often get the seniors moving and exercising in ways they haven’t in years. Stretching, bending down to the toddler’s height, and moving around at the quick pace of a little one can be tiring—just ask any parent. This movement, though, is extremely beneficial to the physical health of aging adults.
Intergenerational Projects Reduce Loneliness
As our loved ones age, we may notice they begin isolating themselves. To combat this, senior living communities provide many activities that offer residents the opportunity to build friendships and bonds with their peers. While residents’ social communities are dynamic, they are generally limited to the company of older adults.
A benefit of intergenerational projects that bring school-aged children and toddlers to senior living communities is that they can give residents a chance to enjoy the thrills of being a grandparent. During this intergenerational bonding, staff members often see residents laughing, teaching, and learning from the little ones.
Provides Seniors with Enrichment in Their Day
Intergenerational interaction enriches your loved one’s day-to-day life by improving happiness and giving a sense of belonging. Many residents are often confined to activities that suit their physical limitations. The benefit of interacting with children is that residents can participate to their own abilities. Having regularly scheduled interaction provides an activity that many residents look forward to all week long.
Intergenerational Senior Enrichment at Wentworth Senior Living
Intergenerational programs are becoming more and more prevalent in senior living communities due to the astonishing benefits for both seniors and children. The acceptance, knowledge, and excitement exchanged between the generations creates purpose and joy. Here at Wentworth Senior Living, we recently began offering a weekly program called Wiggles and Wisdom. During the session, young children, accompanied by a caregiver or parent, join the residents to enjoy upbeat songs, participate in crafts, read books, and utilize props such as maracas and other musical instruments.
When looking for senior living communities for your loved one, ask if they offer any intergenerational activities. And encourage your children and grandchildren to interact with older adults. It’s a beneficial experience for all parties.