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As a whole, if we keep an open mind and welcome the unique challenges and opportunities that are involved in merging generational differences, people of every age group can learn a lot from one other. The formidable challenge in this is consciously developing a better understanding of opposing generations, which is likely to involve a conflict of values at some point when learning to work together. However, when people do come together, it helps dissipate inaccuracies and prejudice stereotypes we too often cast on others.

The benefits of intergenerational interaction in seniors:

  • Reduce isolation, loneliness, and poverty
  • Positively making a difference in the lives of others
  • Experience fewer falls
  • Less reliant of canes and walkers
  • Perform better on memory tests
  • Overall increase in physical and mental health
  • Joyful connections and meaningful friendships
  • It’s fun!

The benefits for others:

  • Developing skills
  • Building values and a sense of self-identification
  • Historical and cultural traditions are preserved
  • Finding solutions for illiteracy, environmental, and health issues
  • Increase in crime prevention
  • Someone to aspire to be like
  • Joyful connections and meaningful friendships
  • It’s fun!

The risks of social isolation are much greater than just loneliness. In seniors, there is an increased risk for developing heart disease, stroke, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Isolation sometimes doesn’t happen by choice, whether from living alone due to loss of spouse, family, and loved ones, or becoming sick or injured.

At Regency Retirement Village, daily life is an intergenerational activity as our younger staff and volunteers focus to reduce the risk of social isolation through the care for our senior members and those requiring assistance with daily tasks. We appreciate that our residents have a lot of wisdom to impart on us, as they are a valuable asset to society by their efforts to contribute in whatever capacity they can.

According to Generations United, intergenerational activities allow seniors an active lifestyle, which is linked to living longer and healthier. Studies show those who regularly volunteer with children burn 20% more calories per week. Also, “Older adults with dementia experience more positive effect during interactions with children.” By remaining engaged in younger communities, seniors enjoy a higher quality of life, which can add several years to one’s life expectancy.

Here at Regency Retirement Village of Morristown, that’s what we pride ourselves in – offering the highest quality of life to our residents. Jeff Clay, Vice President of Business Development at of Regency Retirement Village, said his group recruits many volunteers who bring a variety of abilities to work alongside residents.

“For these volunteers, both young and old, we create opportunities for inter-generational experiences,” Clay said. “We understand that many schools and colleges require volunteer hours for their students, and we would love to support those efforts.

“We don’t have to agree with the values of different generations, but we can strive to understand the mind-sets of different generations and how each group sees the world based on their experiences,” says organizational development scholar Dr. Morris Massey.

Call today and speak with our Activities Director to learn how you can begin a fulfilling life of working with seniors. To learn more about Regency Retirement Village Morristown, call (423) 581-7075.

For information on communicating with different generations, visit The Charmm’d Foundation: http://www.charmmdfoundation.org/resource-library/effective-communication/checklist-communicating-different-generations

“Somehow we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, a knowledge of the past, and a sense of the future.”
– Margaret Mead