Intergenerational Activities Give Seniors a Boost

You’ll only have to look at the photos of my mother-in-law and my dad to see that interacting with their grandkids and great grandchildren gives them a boost!

Reba, Sara, and Ben making apricot turnovers

Reba, Sara, and Ben making apricot turnovers

Reba, my mother-in-law, was able to come spend several days with us recently, and we made sure to build in some time with her great grandchildren, as well as activities with her grandchildren.

One activity our daughter Sara planned with her was learning how to make apricot pies — a treat that’s become a trademark for Reba.  Turned out that Ben wanted in on the activity too.

So for about an hour, Reba gave step by step instructions and some of her tricks learned through experience to Sara.  It was meaningful for both.

And of course the rest of us enjoyed the fruit of that interaction!

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Dad showing off his patriotic hat

This past weekend, Dad came over to celebrate the Fourth of July along with Sara and Mark and Kathy and his great grandchildren.

He loves to interact with children by trying to entertain them.

Looking at these photos and reflecting on how much both enjoyed these times reinforces for me the importance of planning intergenerational activities for them.  Not only is it good for them, it’s great for the younger generations.

Things happen in intergenerational settings that simply don’t in more homogeneous age gatherings.  Seniors become childlike.  Children become more adult-like.  Seniors gain appreciation and respect for the younger generations.  Those from the younger generations gain respect and appreciation for the Seniors.

So, when’s the last time you arranged some intergenerational activities for the senior adults in your life?  Why not join me in resolving to do it more?

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