“Compassion… the capacity for feeling what it’s like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there never can really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” ~ Frederick Buechner
Who would have ever thought that pairing preschoolers with elderly nursing home residents could be work for both groups? One Seattle facility, Providence Mount St. Vincent, houses over 400 elderly residents and has recently welcomed children from the Intergenerational Learning Center (ILC) childcare facility to interact with the residents through structured and unstructured activities.
The purpose of the ILC, in broad terms, is to help the kids involved learn about the elderly. More specifically, the goal is for children to learn about the normal aging process; including learning how to accept people with disabilities, and help reduce any apprehension they may have to older individuals. The activities these children and elderly residents partake in include music classes, dancing, art, lunch, storytelling and more. The youngsters offer the residents the chance to play, laugh and to act as role models.
These efforts, according to a recent ABC News article, have done more than just benefit the kids; it has ‘transformed’ the elderly residents. Now this incredible place is about to have its own film. Called “Present Perfect,” it was shot over the course of the 2012-2013 school year by filmmaker Evan Briggs, who is also an adjunct professor at Seattle University. She named the film “Present Perfect” she said, as a reference to the fact that these two groups of people — the preschoolers, who have almost no past and so much future and the elderly who such rich past but very little future — really only have a few years of overlap in their lives. “It’s also about being in the present moment,” Briggs said, “something so many adults struggle with.”
As reported on http://www.boredpanda.com/preschool-retirement-home-intergenerational-learning-center-ilc/ 43 per cent of older adults in the US experience social isolation. With this set-up, there are plenty of opportunities for interaction and play, plus the chance to transfer knowledge