I had only discussed briefly the benefits of intergenerational programs for older adults and children at the tail end of my first year in this program, and until recently it was only a distant idea in my mind. This past week I was able to witness the joy experienced by older adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders by the presence of the children within intergenerational program at my site. I felt, and this may just be my assumption, an awakening of life in the abundance of joy floating in the room.
Providing intergenerational programs, for children, can help foster positive attitudes toward older adults, increase understanding and empathy, and provide wisdom to a new generation from an older generation. For older adults, aside from the joy of the presence of children, these programs help reduce the sense isolation and increase the sense of purpose through sharing life experiences and reminiscing.