Ever hear of Generations United? It’s a nonprofit with a powerful purpose – facilitating shared spaces where children, youth and older adults participate in programs and services together. The group has a nationwide reach and is gearing up to offer services in Wethersfield.
Why is this an idea whose time has come? There are millions of seniors out there who average about 47 hours of TV time weekly. And, there are children whose parents are working who could use a little mentoring and just plain fun. This combination is a brilliant idea destined to succeed.
What do these spaces look like? They could be a town building dedicated to mixed senior and child care; or an arrangement, for example, to place a daycare in a senior living facility.
What happens in one of these spaces? There are planned activities that include both generations, for example, an art project, as well as time for informal encounters, for example playing a game.
Why is this concept so valuable? It values the contributions that can be made by both generations — the wisdom and knowledge of older adults with the creativity and inquisitiveness of children.
What are the benefits? It helps build life-changing relationships for everyone involved. Generations United says participants of all ages are healthier and learning new things. Seniors have a purpose and socialize with peers and kids, while the younger generation gains confidence and self esteem.