At Ebenezer Senior Living, we consider Intergenerational Connections one of our Cornerstones and a crucial part of our DNA. By providing opportunities for our senior residents to connect with children in engaging environments, we hope to foster new relationships, learning, and growth for everyone. Here are four important reasons why we’re committed to bridging the generation gap.
We Learn How to Treat Each Other
Looking around, anyone can see how the structure of our communities naturally separates us into certain age groups – but we’re also learning that breaking down those barriers brings wonderful social benefits. When children and seniors have space to interact, the result is improved emotional and social development for both. Seniors have the opportunity to share cultural values and traditions, and children learn important social skills.
With intergenerational learning, both sides develop a deeper understanding of diversity. When a child befriends a senior, the individuals are building an appreciation for difference that makes our communities more welcoming places to live, filled with greater mutual respect and care.
We Teach Each Other New Things
Who could be better at teaching a child patience and responsibility than a caring senior? And who could be better at helping a senior to see the world with fresh eyes than a curious child? With the wisdom of their life experience and abundant patience, seniors are perfectly suited to the task of guiding young children through productive activities. And children, with their range of interests and easy comfortability with technology, have plenty to share with seniors, too!
We Grow Personally
When seniors and children come together and forge relationships, we see an enhanced quality of life for both sides. Intergenerational friendships lead to increased self-esteem and a better sense of self-worth, and for kids, the more caring, invested adults who are present in their daily lives, the more positive life outcomes we see.
We Need Each Other
Intergenerational relationships are so special because they are mutually beneficial. Children and seniors fit together like puzzle pieces, filling space in the other person’s life like no one else could. Kiddos help to keep seniors active and can have all kinds of positive effects on seniors’ physical and cognitive health. The way they share joy and enthusiasm is unique and infectious. On the other side of the equation, being around seniors helps children to build critical communication skills and to understand their purpose and place in the world. Certain lessons can only come from someone who has lived and learned before us.
For all the benefits to the individuals and to the community, Ebenezer is proud to be bridging the generation gap, bringing together people of all ages to share their talents and resources. Want to learn more about senior programs at our Ebenezer communities? Take a look at our Programs & Services page, and make sure to keep up with the Ebenezer blog.