Combining a Day Care and a Nursing Home

07 Jun 2018

Around the world, more centers are bringing together seniors and toddlers.

Every midmorning, teachers at the ONEgeneration child care facility get ready for their daily visitors.

The people dropping by aren’t parents touring preschools. They’re seniors who attend the facility’s adult day care program, held within the same building.

Each day, the center, located in Van Nuys, California, brings the two populations together for a host of activities designed specifically for children and seniors. These types of interactions serve a purpose. They’re collectively called "intergenerational programming.”

"Cooking, music, movement — you name it, they do it,” Kristine Vardanyan, director of ONEgeneration, told Healthline.

In the late morning, the seniors — many with varying stages of diminished cognition — head over to the different classrooms for an activity. Some days, the groups participate in music and movement. Other times they go out to the yard and blow bubbles or go on nature walks.

ONEgeneration is part of a growing movement to promote intergenerational activities between the young and old.

While previous generations may have lived under the same roof or in the same town with younger generations of their family, that’s not the case today. Many extended families now live in different regions of the country. Additionally, people are living longer and may require more care than their family can provide, even if they live close by.

And a growing body of new research illustrates just how damaging isolation and loneliness can be.

One way to fight that isolation is intergenerational programming. It brings together people from different age populations, usually through activities that focus on young children and older adults. It’s different from multigenerational programming, where different classes are offered for a variety of populations.

Americans are living longer and healthier lives. Intergenerational advocates believe that we can only be successful in the face of our complex future if generational diversity is regarded as a national asset and fully leveraged.

There are many different forms of intergenerational programming, from seniors volunteering in schools to help children read to teenagers teaching a technology class at a senior center. A number of facilities across the globe take that concept even further.

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Note by Wiser Community: Original story is published and owned by Health Line. Our aim is to consolidate all elderly related news at one place. We do not own any content, nor claim the accuracy of the news. Re-printed in good faith with our best effort.