‘Multi-Generational Connections’ is this month’s Pillar of Successful Aging here at Harbour Landing Village. When older and younger people form meaningful relationships, it improved both groups’ well-being, and we can learn and develop stronger connections with one another. The older generation gets to reminisce about the good ol’ days of their youth. The days of playing with friends, running around, and of course, getting into all sorts of trouble. And the younger children get to learn from our seniors the little things about life that will make all the difference as they grow old. Seniors have experience and knowledge to share and it’s important that we take the time to listen and learn from them. Interacting with seniors also gives the children a chance to slow down and live in the moment. When people are raised in different time periods, their values and perceptions of the world can be quite different, and this can lead to difficulties in understanding one another. That’s why it’s so important to be able to understand one another so that we can connect with each other and the broader community. It allows us to take a step back and see what life is like in someone else’s shoes.
Research shows that intergenerational settings can lead to increased engagement, socialization, improved physical health, and emotional support for seniors and children alike. Quite often at Harbour Landing Village the children play outside in the courtyard and seeing their smiling faces buzzing with excitement also brings excitement, energy, and happiness to others. We get together for events and activities around the Village and it’s always a better, more fun time when they are multi-generational. We truly are a community within a community.
At Harbour landing Village, one of the things that sets us apart from others is our multi-generational atmosphere. We know there are many positives that children and seniors can benefit from one another so we integrate that into the lives of our residents and childcare center. Activities such as ‘Storytime at the Village’ and ‘Baking Club’ are just a couple of opportunities we offer for sharing wisdom and encouragement. The goal is mutual cross-generational sharing of talents, skills, experiences, and energy.
Chances are, you have a friend, or several, in the same age bracket as you. But what about relationships outside of your generation? Try making a new friend with someone who is older or younger than you and see what you can learn from them.
The key is paring great potential with great experience.