Aging doesn’t automatically mean that people have to slow down. In fact for many, some days feel like life is just getting started. It’s easy for seniors to feel that way when they get to interact with people younger than themselves on a regular basis. That’s why so many senior living communities have introduced intergenerational activities and programs. Not only do intergenerational programs benefit seniors, they can prove invaluable to people of all ages.
There are plenty of advantages to intergenerational activities for seniors, which include curbing the very real possibilities of social and economic isolation that so many seniors unfortunately feel. Research has shown that when seniors volunteer to help children, they burn 20% more calories per week, fall less and rely less on canes. Some individuals who took part in intergenerational programs also performed better on memory tests than those who opted out. The benefits of intergenerational relationships don’t just end there. Those who partake in intergenerational activities for seniors have the chance to learn new technology and communication skills, and enjoy both a better outlook on aging and an improved sense of purpose.
These benefits of intergenerational activities also trickle down to the younger people with whom they interact during intergenerational activities and programs. Some communities allow their residents to serve as mentors to local youths, leading to close friendships, which studies have shown lead to the following positive benefits for younger people:
- 46% less likely than others to start illegal drug use
- 27% less likely than others to start drinking
- More likely to trust in and communicate with their parents
- Less likely to experience depression
Facilitating intergenerational friendship doesn’t have to require a lot of work from a senior living community. When people of different ages come to the community to spend time with residents, activities as simple as board games, storytelling and scrapbooking can make a world of difference for both people involved. When it comes to intergenerational programs, nursing homes across the country are embracing the benefits of intergenerational projects. It’s become clear that it only takes a little effort to leave a lasting impact.
Visit our services and amenities page and contact us to learn more about the intergenerational activities and programs offered at Smith Village.