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Intergenerational Approach to Elder Care

Posted by Brian Spence on Jul 15, 2015 8:00:00 AM

ElderCare_ChildrenAll too commonly we see the elderly as individuals who have passed their prime, or even their helpfulness. With limited mobility, the elderly are sometimes seen as individuals who don’t have a place in normal society pass a certain age, and others expect them to live out the rest of their lives confined at home or a nursing facility. Similarly, children are also not expected to be helpful, due to their lack of experiences.

An organization in West Seattle, Washington counters these stereotypes associated with the elderly and children together, by providing an ecosystem where children and the elderly support one another. The Learning Center for children is hosted inside Providence Mount St. Vincent, a local retirement home.

Daily, the children interact with the elderly, playing games, reading stories together, dancing, or just visiting and talking.

The elderly benefit from the connections by caring for the children and being surrounded by their joyfulness, while the children get to understand life and aging while learning patience for those with limited abilities. The Center is one of 500 programs around the United States that creates an intergenerational bridge between the elderly and children.

Filmmaker Evan Briggs brings out the life-affirming relationships between these two age groups at The Intergenerational Learning Center in her upcoming documentary, “Present Perfect.”



The film highlights how both young children and the elderly can share similar strengths and weaknesses, and how they can take care and comfort in their shared struggles. The popularity around the touching documentary has promoted this type of model for elderly care.

Overall, the film highlights how we can look at care for both the elderly and children: how can we establish places and homes that are life-affirming, especially for children and the elderly? By watching the film and learning from the Intergenerational Learning Center, we can begin to reframe how we see age and aging as well.

To learn more about alternative elderly care models or to hire a home health aide or behavioral health caregiver, please contact us.

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Topics: Behavioral Health

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