Intergenerational programs bring together children and older adults, offering them opportunities to interact and create ongoing, beneficial relationships for participants and the greater community. For children, intergenerational programs offer benefits such as improved academic performance, enhanced social skills, decreased negative behavior, and increased stability, according to education.com.
And according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are a number of benefits of intergenerational programs for older adults, too.
Those benefits include:
- Enhanced Socialization: From 80+ committees and annual campus events to various group exercise and lecture opportunities, at Kendal at Oberlin, there are always ways to become involved, making isolationism a foreign term. And while chatting with your closest community friends can be more than fulfilling, sometimes all it takes to motivate yourself to get up and get involved are a childs shining eyes and beaming smile.
- Stimulated Learning: According to the Wall Street Journal, more than half of the children younger than 8 in the U.S. have access to an iPad, iPhone, or similar touch-screen device. Imagine what their young brains could teach you about operating these new and innovative technologies!
- Increased Emotional Support: Intergenerational programs give older adults the opportunity to participate in meaningful activity, decreasing loneliness, boredom, and depression while increasing self-esteem. According to education.com, Regular participation in structured social and productive activities and membership in large social networks have been shown to independently benefit the health and functional outcomes as people age.
- Improved Health: Also according to education.com, older adults who regularly volunteer with children burn 20 percent more calories per week, experience fewer falls, are less reliant on canes, and perform better on memory tests than peers.