When you think of a nursing home, the last thing you normally think of is preschoolers.
As a matter of fact, you think of the complete opposite!
However, Providence Mount St. Vincent, a Seattle-based nursing home, is implementing a program that bridges the gap between young children and the elderly.
It's called the Intergenerational Learning Center (ILC), an award-winning, weekly child care program that allows over 400 elders to interact with children as young as infants.
The ILC program consists of both structured and non-structured activities in which both age groups participate to familiarize adolescents with the concept of age.
It also helps children learn to be accepting of the different disabilities that come with it.
The Providence Mount St. Vincent website reads,
Five days a week, the children and residents come together in a variety of planned activities such as music, dancing, art, lunch, storytelling or just visiting.
These activities result in mutual benefits for both generations. This enhances the opportunities for children and people of all ages to have frequent interaction and is an integral part of the Mount's intergenerational community.
How much of a better place would the world be if daily interactions between the young and the old were boundless?!
Check out the photos below for a closer look.
How often did you interact with the elderly when you were just under 5 years old?
At that age, many of us were too busy playing with toys and watching our favorite cartoons to notice...
...but understanding the concept of age and breaking down the barrier between the young and the old is crucial.
We'd learn a lot more if introduced to someone who's lived most of his or her life at an early age.
Not only does it help children understand what it means to get older...
...but it helps them be accepting of the different types of disabilities that come with it.
That's why Providence Mount St. Vincent Center in West Seattle is offering the Intergenerational Learning Center.
It's new, weekly program joins over 400 elderly residents of the center with young children.
Children as young as infants and as old as 5 years old can participate in the ILC program.
They're also given the chance to learn from residents through both structured and unstructured activities.
Whether they're reading, listening to music, dancing, storytelling or just simply visiting, the possibilities are endless.
For the elderly, they're given the chance to continue being creative, insightful and influential.
With about 43 percent of older adults experiencing a high-level social isolation, the ILC hopes to lower that number.
Check out the video below for a closer look:
Citations: Introducing Preschoolers Into This Nursing Home Changed Everyones Lives (Bored Panda)