Awesome partnership with children and the elderly
posted by: Amber Johnson
With all the negativity in the world, here’s something that will bring a smile to your face!
The Meadows Early Learning Center entered into a partnership with Lincoln Meadows Senior Living Center, an assisted living facility dedicated to enriching the lives of senior citizens. This partnership between The Meadows Early Learning Center and Lincoln Meadows Senior Living Center will facilitate a unique experience between generations, and undoubtedly bring joy to children and seniors alike.
Once a month, seniors will come to the Meadows Early Learning Center to interact with children from infants to preschool age. Creating this inter-generational relationship is critical not only for the children but also for the seniors, as it gives them a rewarding and fulfilling sense of purpose to be instrumental in the young, vibrant lives of their new little friends. The children benefit from the relationship by getting to experience a real connection with members of a generation far removed from their own, and can look forward to sharing stories, memories and activities with their senior companions.
According to an article which appeared in the Atlantic in January 2016, intergenerational learning programs such as the one The Meadows and Lincoln Meadows will be participating in are vital to the mental and physical well-being of senior facility residents. Tiffany R. Jansen, the author of the piece, states that “Numerous studies have linked social interactions with decreased loneliness, delayed mental decline, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of disease and death in elders. Socializing across generations has also been shown to increase the amount of smiling and conversation among older adults.” A
Additionally, bringing the elderly community into a childcare center and preschool such as The Meadows helps small children to forge a bond with older people. This early contact is fundamental to helping children learn qualities such as compassion, respect, empathy and kindness as they interact with the seniors, many of whom are non-ambulatory or have various health conditions. Helping children to understand and value differing abilities and appreciate limitations of others can give them the insight and experience that is vital to becoming compassionate, caring individuals.
The directors at The Meadows Early Learning Center and Lincoln Meadows Senior Living Center recognize the benefits that children and senior citizens alike will reap from the experience. “We are truly excited to begin this new endeavor. We find it extremely important for children to learn from those who have already experienced life and we couldn’t find a better way to do that than combining the two generations in one learning environment,” says McDonald.
The Meadows will host a group of seniors from the Lincoln Meadows Senior Living Center on Wednesday, February 15, in the first of what they hope to be many installments of the intergenerational learning project.