Shared Site Programs - Benefiting Children and Seniors
Organizations delivering services to unrelated younger people and older adults at the same location are called Shared Site Programs. Within these sites, intergenerational activities often provide opportunities for these younger and older people to interact and can have a meaningful impact on both age groups.
At Kingsley House, children, youth and seniors are all located on the same campus. Throughout the year, preschoolers engage in story times, birthday , gardening and art activities with adults, seniors and veterans. Summer campers organize bingo games and create special activities for their elders, like spa treatment days. Plus, youth volunteer groups regularly visit from area schools and community organizations. The benefits of interactions such as these were outlined in a report from Generations United and the Eisner Foundation, “All In Together-Creating Places Where Young and Old Thrive.”
Older Adults in Shared Sites Experience Better Physical and Mental Health and Less Isolation and Loneliness
For older adults, regular interaction with children result in an atmosphere that is more “family/ home-like” and promotes social enrichment and a renewed interest in others.
Older adults in intergenerational programs experience improved health and well-being and become less isolated and feel less lonely.
Older adults with dementia or other cognitive impairments experienced more positive affects, reduced agitation and increased levels of engagement during interactions with children than they did during non-intergenerational activities.
The majority of adult participants in a shared site indicated that they benefited from the program and reported feeling happy, interested, loved, younger and needed.
Children and Youth Improve Learning, Social and Emotional Skills and Perception of Older Adults
Elementary school age children who had attended an intergenerational care program demonstrated greater levels of empathy, social acceptance and ability to self-regulate than peers who had not attended an intergenerational program.
Preschool children involved in intergenerational programs had higher personal/social developmental scores (by 11 months) than preschool children involved in non-intergenerational programs.
Children who participated in activities led by adult day services participants improved motor and cognitive skills.
Youth participants in intergenerational programs with people with dementia experienced social and emotional growth, including a deepened understanding of aging, older adults and dementia.
At Kingsley Adult Day Care, we are proud to offer programming that supports the continued health and happiness of participants of all ages. Call us at 504-523-6224 to schedule a tour and learn more about our shared site and intergenerational program.