Fostering Intergenerational Relationships in Assisted Living

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 15 March 2012

Pet therapy is wonderful, but animals are not everyone’s best friend. Babies, toddlers, kids and teens? That’s another kind of wonderful therapy for seniors in assisted living.

Relationships between the old and young are incredibly special and mutually beneficial. It’s a unique bond, and perhaps surprisingly, there are usually more commonalities than differences. A well-balanced activities program should include a variety of intergenerational programs and opportunities for residents to interact with young people.

In some senior living communities, residents act as mentors or tutors to staff members, sharing their life experience, wisdom, and professional expertise. Other assisted living homes have entered into partnerships with local schools, colleges and daycare centers to recruit young volunteers and friendly visitors, or for an occasional special event (for instance, a musical performance or costume parade). Young students also make the best tutors when it comes to teaching residents how to use new technology.

Another hot intergenerational trend in senior living? Sponsoring a “senior prom.” High school or college students typically collaborate with the activities director to present an unforgettable evening of dancing, music and celebration.

Talk back: What intergenerational activities are available at your local assisted living community? Get involved today.



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