Intergenerational care is not only a convenient option for those caring for both parent and child, it actually provides unique benefits unavailable in traditional day care.
Benefits for Elders
Generations United, a Washington D. C.-based advocacy group for intergenerational care, reported in July 2007 that adults enrolled in such programs have enhanced socialization opportunities and a greater sense of engagement in their communities. They have better emotional and mental health as well as stronger physical health than their counterparts in more traditional day care facilities. Julianne Joerres, marketing associate at the St. Ann Center for Adult and Child Day Care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, elaborated on this trend. She said that when her adult clients served as mentors and teachers to the children they gained “a sense of purpose and added dignity to their lives.”
Benefits for Children
Children, too, benefit greatly from increased positive interaction with older adults. In the same July 2007 study on intergenerational care, Generations United noted that children involved in intergenerational programming had improved academic performance, a more positive attitude to aging and were more socially and personally mature than their peers.