At The Pillars of Lakeville Senior Living Community, we consider Intergenerational Connections one of our Cornerstones and a crucial part of our DNA. By providing opportunities for our senior residents to connect with children in engaging environments, we hope to foster new relationships, learning, and growth for everyone.
September 10, 2023, is National Grandparents Day. Empowering our seniors to maintain generational connections with grandchildren and their children or providing opportunities to bridge the gap between seniors and children can provide numerous benefits to physical and mental well-being.
Here are four important reasons why we’re committed to bridging the generation gap.
We Learn How to Treat Each Other
Looking around, anyone can see how the structure of our communities naturally separates us into specific age groups – but we’re also learning that breaking down those barriers brings wonderful social benefits. When children and seniors have space to interact, the result is improved emotional and social development for both. Seniors have the opportunity to share cultural values and traditions, and children learn essential social skills.
With intergenerational learning, both sides develop a deeper understanding of diversity. When a child befriends a senior, the individuals build an appreciation for difference that makes our communities more welcoming places to live, filled with greater mutual respect and care.
We Teach Each Other New Things
Who could teach a child patience and responsibility better than a caring senior? And who could be better at helping a senior to see the world with fresh eyes than a curious child? With the wisdom of their life experience and abundant patience, seniors are perfectly suited to guiding young children through productive activities. And children, with their range of interests and easy comfortability with technology, have plenty to share with seniors, too!
We Grow Personally
When seniors and children unite and forge relationships, we see an enhanced quality of life for both sides. Intergenerational friendships lead to increased self-esteem and a better sense of self-worth, and for kids, the more caring, invested adults present in their daily lives, the more positive life outcomes we see.
We Need Each Other
Intergenerational relationships are so special because they are mutually beneficial. Children and seniors fit together like puzzle pieces, filling space in another person’s life like no one else could. Kiddos help to keep seniors active and can have all kinds of positive effects on seniors’ physical and cognitive health. The way they share joy and enthusiasm is unique and infectious. On the other side of the equation, being around seniors helps children to build critical communication skills and to understand their purpose and place in the world. Specific lessons can only come from someone who has lived and learned before us.
The Power Of Intergenerational Connections
Ebenezer is proud to have Intergenerational Connections as one of our Cornerstones. Within this program, we are committed to creating opportunities for our senior population to connect with children and youth of all ages. This helps to bridge the generation gap, create learning opportunities for both the seniors and children as well as enrich the quality of their lives.
Through intergenerational connections, people of all ages share their talents and resources, supporting each other in relationships that benefit both the individuals and the community.
Benefits Of Intergenerational Connections:
Learning and Ongoing Skill Development
Improved Emotional / Social Development and Wellness
Sharing Life Experiences and Knowledge
Deeper Understanding of Diversity
Enhanced Quality of Life for Seniors and Children / Youth
Increased Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
Children Develop Patience and Responsibility