Seniors in long-term care often slide into depression as one day resembles the next and residents can become isolated and withdrawn. The Canadian Study of Health and Aging found that more than 12 per cent of long-term care residents suffer from depression. However, an innovative approach in Seattle has paired preschool children with seniors under one roof in an effort to create a stimulating environment for all.
The Intergenerational Learning Center is located inside Providence Mount St. Vincent, which houses 400 senior residents as well as 125 preschool aged children. The ILC was the subject of recent documentary called Present Perfect (due out in 2016), and since its inception in 1991, more than 500 similar programs have opened across the country.
Young and old benefit from each other’s company in the combined care facility. Seniors have patience and much to teach the next generation while young children share energy and laughter which can be contagious. The daily interactions include music, art, storytelling and physical activity which stimulate both elderly and young minds and bodies.
To read more about the Intergenerational Learning Center visit: http://washington.providence.org/senior-care/mount-st-vincent/services/child-care/
To view the film’s trailer, check out the documentary’s website at: http://www.presentperfectfilm.com/