One thing we all love about summer is that it brings with its warmer weather lots of opportunities for outdoor activities and events. At Highline Place Memory Care in Littleton, Colorado, residents, family members and staff partnered with the local Challenge Foundation to host what they billed as an “old-fashioned picnic in the park”.
What made this event special was not just the lovely park setting, but the eighth-grade students invited to participate. Highline Place partnered with The Challenge Foundation, a group that works to give a leg-up to underserved, disadvantaged young people and help them achieve success through better education and opportunities.
Engaging in inter-generational activities is good for everyone, young and old. Individuals living with dementia, however, often benefit even more from these connections. Young people have a way of reaching out and connecting in a refreshing way that adults are not always able to do.
A new study cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information corroborated earlier similar studies examining the benefits of inter-generational programs for individuals living with dementia. The study, reported that “The results suggest that residents with dementia who participated in IPs (Intergenerational Programs) had increased pleasure levels and reduced behavioral disengagement.”
Throughout our Anthem Memory Care communities, we regularly witness, firsthand, the many benefits when our residents engage in meaningful activities with young people. And what makes these interactions even more worthwhile is when those benefits are shared by the young people themselves. The recent Highline Place picnic is a great example of this. It brought along with all the fun an opportunity for students from underserved communities to enjoy meaningful interactions with adults. They spent much of the time sharing stories and experiences, which is something everyone enjoys.
Jodi Cornman, senior community relations director for Highline Place, was interviewed by local press regarding the event. Her words say it best, “Many of our residents spent their childhood summers playing outdoor games. This was a chance for our seniors to show today’s kids how to have an old-fashioned and unplugged summer. We hope new friendships will result from their time together.”