3 Ways to Foster Intergenerational Relationships for Seniors
As we age, our connections to the people around us naturally become a little weaker. Old friends pass away, children move across the country, and it’s harder to get outside to talk with neighbors.
However, studies have shown that the more social interactions and connections seniors have, the better their emotional and even physical well-being.
Additionally, fostering intergenerational relationships – connections between people of varying age groups – creates strong bonds and helps broaden perspectives.
Here are 3 ways you can foster intergenerational relationships for the seniors in your life:
Thanks to the magic of technology, staying connected despite miles of distance is easier than ever.
But technology isn’t just for keeping in touch with people we already know; it can be a great vehicle for developing new relationships or deepening those that already exist.
If, for example, your elderly loved one has young family members who live in a different country, but the senior is unsure how to navigate technology well enough to communicate with them, technology can be used as a springboard for a new relationship.
You could bring in a neighbor or family friend who understands the ins and outs of setting up Skype or a Facebook account to help your loved one learn the ropes. As your loved one becomes more familiar with the technology, the younger person can expand their horizons to using online music players, gaming, and looking up information.
Using teaching as an opportunity to begin a relationship, or deepen one that already exists, can lead to many hours of friendship as well as a newfound skill for the senior.
Helping others is a great way to find new friends, and provides ample opportunities for connections between different age groups.
If your loved one enjoys children or loves to read, consider helping them volunteer at a local elementary school, library, or after-school program to read to young children. Retired teachers can become tutors for students even up through college, or even can help teach English to non-natives and coach young adults through getting their GEDs.
For pet-loving seniors, local animal shelters always are looking for helpful dog-walkers or even people to just sit and brush and pet the animals.
Whether it’s through people being helped by volunteer service or those with whom seniors volunteer, offering up their time and talents in a new way can bring many new positive connections.
Sometimes, it’s the lack of ready-made opportunities for socializing and meeting new people that leaves seniors lonely.
In these cases, you may have to get creative and start making your own opportunities for your elderly loved one to develop intergenerational relationships.
Reach out to your local public library and ask if they’d be willing to work with you to develop a book club, craft night, or simple coffee hour using their space. Senior centers and health clubs also are great places to approach for starting new programs.
If you’ve got the time and the planning prowess, consider setting up a block party in your loved one’s neighborhood or apartment complex.
Block parties are a great way for neighbors to get out and meet one another, and can help find your senior some new connections.
Quality In-Home Care in Central Maryland
Your senior loved one deserves the very best care.
Whether they need help with bathing and feeding, need medication reminders, or just want a ride to doctor appointments and social events, our team of compassionate, experienced in-home care providers can help. At Advanced Nursing & Home Support, we offer a wide range of high-quality care for seniors so you know your loved one is taken care of even when you’re away.