Seniors staying at assisted living centers should take into account whether or not there is a program that involves the youth. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and doing activities with children boosts mental and physical health. Here are five reasons you should make sure to consider youth programs when you choose where you will be spending the next chapters of your life.
1. Teaches New Skills
There is no doubt that older adults know a great deal and can benefit our youth with their wisdom. But our kids know a lot about our new world, too. By mixing these two age groups, both generations benefit from a sharper mind.
The wisdom the older generation holds brings value to our youth in a way no other age can compare. Seniors can bestow upon the younger generation teachings that, if listened to, can help build character. Having made the many mistakes a lifetime brings, and being graced with many relationships, our seniors can show children their errors before they make them, and how to build themselves up in a way they have learned over many years.
Many older adults have been practicing hobbies or talents for years, with valuable knowledge that could help a child develop new skills. The children have something to offer in this aspect as well. Whether it is young toddlers or older teens, they all have something they could teach all of us whether it be something on the iPad or violin. Knowledge is something beautiful that helps our society progress, and the exchange is where the most growth happens.
2. Gives Seniors A Sense Of Accomplishment
Some children, unfortunately, don’t have a trusted adult at home. And having someone stable to teach them life lessons is exactly what they need. Becoming a mentor gives a sense of purpose, which may be lacking once they have lost their independence. They may be unable to drive themselves to the store whenever they please, but they can teach a child how to play chess or the beauty behind Tchaikovsky.
Many people who are living in assisted living centers may have families that live far away, and this can build a deep hole in their heart. It can be lonely when your family is so far away they can’t visit often. By going to a living center that has youth programs, the seniors can build a family-like bond with these children that they can see on a regular basis, creating a community that is healthy and lively.
3. Helps Children Learn How To Respect Their Elders
Some children don’t understand how to interact with the elderly. They are still new to this whole human interaction thing that seniors have mastered. They also might not have grandparents, having very little communication with the older generation. This can lead to a divide in ages without harboring a mutual understanding.
By being around older adults, children can learn how to respect and treat their elders. They can get involved in the community making it stronger. By caring about their elders, they want to take care of them. This can build a foundation of respect that carries on to adulthood that can benefit the seniors to come.
4. Helps Reduce The Risk of Depression In Seniors
More than 2 million seniors suffer from depression, and often times it can go untreated veiled by other illnesses. It is even estimated that 68% of adults over the age of 65 know little to nothing about depression. This can cause the mental disorder to fester and become worse. Being around children gives a fun and exciting way to target depressive symptoms such as lack of motivation, low energy, extreme sadness, and social isolation. Depending on the recreation, it can even help seniors find enjoyable ways to exercise with the group, which has proven to reduce symptoms of depression.