At Willson House Child Development Center, you will find children and seniors interacting daily. Children and seniors will be together singing songs, telling stories, making crafts or participating in annual events like our Tea Party or Carnival. Seniors also frequent our classrooms to say hello, lead projects, or serve as volunteers. No matter what the interaction may be, the young and young at heart will be learning and growing, together.
What are the benefits of an Intergenerational Program? (Courtesy of Generations United and MetLife)
Benefits for Children:
- Preschool children involved in intergenerational programs had higher personal/social developmental scores than preschool children involved in non-intergenerational programs.
- Children who regularly interact older adults have enhanced perceptions of older adults, persons with disabilities and nursing homes in general.
- In schools where older adults were a regular fixture (volunteers working 15 hours per week) children had improved reading scores and fewer behavioral problems than their peers at other schools.
- Children have enhanced self-esteem and independence because seniors help present more familial relationships and provide a home-like setting.
- The vast majority of parents surveyed believe the intergenerational program is beneficial for their children.
- For older adults, regular interaction with children results in an atmosphere that is more “family/home-like” and promotes social enrichment and a renewed interest in others.
- Older adults who regularly volunteered with children burned 20% more calories per week, experienced fewer falls, were less reliant on canes, and performed better than peers on a memory test.
- Seniors have the opportunity to serve as nurturers, mentors, historians, and storytellers.They gain a sense of satisfaction and giving back as they share their talents with this younger generation.
- 90% of family caregivers indicated that their family member benefited from the intergenerational program.
- (97%) of adult participants in a shared site indicated that they benefited from the intergenerational program and reported feeling happy, interested, loved, younger, and needed. The most common aspects of the program that they enjoyed were the children’s playfulness and affection.
These intergenerational connections are what set us apart from any other Child Care Program or Residential Care Facility. For more information, please contact our Director, Karen Kilgore.