In our increasingly mobile society, many children grow up without the benefit of contact with their grandparents and great-grandparents. Our society is now mainly made up of age-segregated schools and elderly housing/nursing home facilities. Due to this lack of intergenerational relationships, many children run the risk of developing prejudice and discrimination against elders or those with disability. Furthermore, children who grow up with negative perceptions of the elderly may dread or come to resent their own aging. Likewise, as senior citizens advance in their old age, they can develop a feeling of isolation.
An intergenerational community builds on the positive contributions of both age groups to society. Children offer a zest for life and love of learning that can be refreshing and touching to an elderly person who may be far removed from his/her family. Similarly, children can learn much from the shared life experiences of a senior. Intergenerational programming attempts to bridge the gap between the generations, and offer a sense of community where shared human experience is valued, relationships are built, and emotional needs are met.
At Condell Day Center, we support the integration of activities between the young child and the older adult.
- Each participant will have the opportunity to share and interact with others in a warm and stimulating environment.
- The learning and sharing between the generations focus on activities that promote positive attitudes towards age and aging, along with encouraging a greater understanding of and curiosity about the world.
- We increase a sense of self-worth in both generations by providing opportunities to help and be helped, to teach and be taught, and to love and be loved.