It’s a phenomenon which has been taking place in retirement communities all over the world for the last 4 decades. It leads to lower blood pressure, delayed cognitive decline and a reduced risk of disease. It also helps seniors be more mobile, communicate better and ensure they can’t stop smiling! And it’s simply what happens when seniors ‘get down with the kids’…
A fusion of senior care and child-care
There’s a certain harmony in the idea that whether we’re in our early years or our later years, we all need a little looking after. So, in 1976, when a nursery school and a retirement community in Tokyo were combined the idea didn’t seem completely crazy. The community attracted worldwide attention and other intergenerational schemes were subsequently trialled worldwide, including Canada and the US.
Benefits both ways
It’s not only seniors who reap the benefits from intergenerational care. Toddlers who normally have little contact with seniors are seen to develop a new respect and empathy for their elders, and enhances their social and personal development.
Bridging the generational gap
The school summer vacation is usually a time when children are able to spend more time with their grandparents. It’s an enjoyable experience for both which needn’t end just because the kids go back to school. Here are some tips on keeping in touch for mutual benefits:
Invitations all round
Grandparents just love hearing about all those extracurricular activities kids get involved with. If they live close by, why not get them involved? Inviting senior relatives to your kids’ latest show or sports event is a great way of getting them out and about. What’s more, your kids can share their successes (and failures) with those who’ve had a lifetime of similar experiences.
Get seniors connected
Thanks to “in your hand” technologies such as smart phones and iPads, grandkids don’t even have to be in the same room as their grandparents to share a craft project or show off their latest trophy. Take a little time to get your senior relatives connected via a visual app such as Skype or FaceTime. One live video chat later, and they’re sure to be hooked!
A phone call is so simple to make, and can make such a difference. Hearing a child’s voice at the end of a line can brighten even the dreariest of days for distant grandparents or relations living on their own. Conversely, it stops your kids messaging and encourages some real conversation!
You’ve got mail
Real mail that is! If your kids are a little older, encourage them to write to their grandparents, or send them a drawing or home-made card. It’s a great way for kids to improve their writing skills. No matter what your age, there’s still a tingle of excitement in waiting on the mail for that much-anticipated response…
A Red Letter day for MV Residents
The Manor Village in Scottsdale (USA) recently organized a partnership with a local school to connect young students with senior residents. Throughout the school year, students and residents wrote letters back and forth, forming friendships and encouraging writing. At the end of the school year, the students made a trip to visit their Grandpals. The result: smiles, chatter and laughter all around!
More Face-To-Face Time
At all our Manor Village Life Centers in Canada, we strive to bring improved quality of life to all of our Residents.
- Our expert Activity and Lifestyle teams create monthly activity calendars which are engaging and appropriate for all.
- The team at The Manor Village, London ON often organize shared activities with the Tiny Treasures Play and Learn Center at AMG London.
- We’re always delighted to host special celebrations and dinners in our Dining Rooms for Residents and their families, especially the youngsters!
Whether it’s an afternoon of arts and crafts or an afternoon tea, there will always be something the whole family can enjoy. To find out exactly what our Calgary communities can offer, call us today and book your personalized visit.