Intergenerational  Activities and Programs—for the Good Health of Our Residents and Community!

Studies abound on the impact of intergenerational activities on older adults.   Residences at Deer Creek  and Residences at Coffee Creek Senior Living offer living proof that the benefits are many, indeed.  You’ll recognize the most important reasons for ensuring intergenerational activities as what the younger generation would deem “no brainers”—the obvious, for older adults.  Note the interesting benefits for those in younger generations.  Why is this important?  Together the generations create better, healthier communities—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

  • The feeling of being connected leads to a feeling of happiness.  No matter the age, everyone desires to feel valued and a part of a greater community.  But this is especially important to both the older and younger generations who are more at risk of feeling isolated and loneliness.  There are consequences that can create emotional and physical conditions.  Older adults begin to experience anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart problems and more.  Youth also begin to experience health issues, anxiety and depression.

Both age groups benefit from a sense of belonging and the positive “vibes” when they come together and interact. They create relationship, even for a brief time, and that leads to sense of purpose “I made a difference—did you see how she reacted?” 

  • Finding a sense of purpose is also key to the well-being of both age groups, but especially for older adults.  After a lifetime of work, raising families, being active but now slowing down, many find they can no longer find purpose in daily living.  Feelings of loss, sense of importance, identity seem to fade. Interacting with youth offers the opportunity to pass along that wealth of knowledge and experience—especially to the point of mentoring a skill or craft and always there is the wisdom and encouragement that age brings.
  • Learning from each other is also beneficial to older adults because it keeps the mind active and introduces the new ideas that are rapid fire in today’s world.  The younger generation grew up learning how to use the I-pad, smartphone, streaming music and now television and computer streaming for news and entertainment.  What older adult would not benefit from learning how to use these technologies!  Not to mention social media platforms that can be used to keep families and friends living at a distance connected.

Exchanging knowledge is beneficial to the young—learning about the family heritage or if not family, learning about another’s culture instills respect and tolerance for others.  Traditions including celebrations, meals, music, dance, other creative arts are great shared points for building relationships. Exchanging knowledge between generations is a bridge to greater understanding, a way to disparage stereotypes.

Bringing generations together is what we do at Residences Senior Living—we call it Life Enrichment!

Our Life Enrichment teams are dedicated to thoughtfully producing a monthly calendar of events. so Varied interests  are addressed, along with physical activities, and stimulating experiences.  When families come to visit they are always invited to participate. 

  • Grandchildren ranging in age from elementary through high school and college are particularly welcome to visit any time. 
  • Everyone looks forward to the holiday celebrations that always include delicious chef-prepared meals and fare.  No holiday is too minor to celebrate—from Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day to veterans and patriotic days to traditional Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, there’s always a party and much table talk lingering well past desert!
  •  Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day all are dear to family members and residents because so many grandchildren attend. What’s their favorite?  Probably Trick or Treat, when residents have the treats and little tricksters in costumes from the community are invited as well!  Picnics, cookouts, carnivals are all part of the summers outdoors.

Youth from outside our communities are included in Life Enrichment planning activities. 

There are residents whose families live in other states,  limiting interaction with younger generations.  There are young people in our communities who don’t have opportunity to interact with the older generation because they are not living near grandparents or they have lost them.  Life Enrichment truly understands the importance of creating opportunities to bring the generations together.

  • Our teams seek youth talent for musical entertainment, volunteer youth groups from scouting and church groups and schools who promote community service, to visit our senior living communities.  Together the young visitors enjoy games and conversations with residents.  They make pen pals and send cards—yes, it goes both ways!  Residents have been specially invited to attend plays and hear recitals.
  • Our annual outdoor concerts attract residents, families, and our communities to enjoy local musician talent playing music to appeal across generations.  Youth groups enter our annual Scarecrow Contest and come in to warm up with cider and conversation while our residents enjoy watching them assemble their displays. 

While the programs have varied over the years, the constant remains the great need to bring the generations together.

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