A childcare centre combined with a retirement home?
It’s not the first time this idea has been floated with astounding success. Seattle and Eagen both have current practicing centres where elderly residents, some suffering from dementia, and children are regularly interacting and developing relationships.
Primarily, the program stimulates the elderly residents by providing enriching relationships and interactions that only a child can provide. It enables them to rebuild their role model status and increases their self-worth. This flows onto multiple physical and mental benefits for the residents. Facilities involved in intergenerational programs report an almost transformational effect on dementia patients. Elderly residents, who were previously socially ‘closed in’ and aimless, became fully focused on the care and interaction with younger children.
In addition, the program offers unique opportunities to the children, including learning to respect and accept disabled and ageing people.
Whilst some parents initially resist the idea, the proved success of the concept has created a lot of support for Intergenerational Learning. In Seattle, the parents of children attending the Providence Intergenerational Learning Centre are very happy: A recent vote by Seattle locals saw the centre ranking 7th out of 93 day care providers on Seattle’s Alist.
Whilst Intergenerational Learning is only in its very early days in Australia, this concept has the potential to transform the lives of our aging populations, as well as providing our youngest with enriching lessons from their earliest years!
Watch the video about intergenerational learning at a Bristol nursing home.
Click here to read more about how a Sydney nursing home is encouraging intergenerational bonding.
Read more about Intergenerational Learning Programs.