When children or younger adults spend time with seniors it helps to dispel or conquer the negative stereotypes related to aging. One of the most important and beneficial outcomes from this is that younger people recognize and appreciate their shared humanity. Through engaging in meaningful activities with older adults, they come to realize that they truly have the same basic human needs, such as love and belonging, safety and self esteem.
Developing connections with a younger generation can help seniors feel a greater sense of fulfilment. For young people, these connections develop increased self-esteem and confidence, as well as better emotional and social skills.
By creating opportunities for children to connect with seniors, we could help fill the anticipated nursing and caregiver gap – simply because our kids will be groomed to grow a serving heart making them more inclined to take on the rewarding work of caring for tomorrow’s seniors.
Stimulates Memory & Social Development. Research shows when people with Alzheimer’s or other form of memory loss participate in intergenerational activities, they perform better on memory tests. Regarding benefits for the development of young children, infants who have regular exposure to older adults experienced higher personal and social development by 11 months, compared to their peers.
Promotes Physical Well-Being. According to research by Generations United, seniors who regularly volunteer with young people burn 20 percent more calories per week than those who don’t. They’re also less likely to experience falls and to use their canes. This is likely because when engaging with young people in physical activities, they are increasing blood flow, flexibility and balance.
Builds Emotional Bonds That Last