Rising Star: Intergenerational ProgramsRegular readers of this blog know I am a strong advocate of intergenerational programs. Given the changing ratio of young and old, I believe intergenerational programs are a rising star.

The local assisted living facility where I provide intergenerational programming is CedarView. This facility opened in spring 2001 and now has  41 apartments. Recently I met with Treva Benoit, and Kathy Lane, Office Manager to see what they have to say about this rising star.

What are the benefits of offering an intergenerational program for your facility?

Treva: Music Sparks provides all Residents at CedarView the opportunity to engage in an activity with toddlers and their parents on a regular basis. Residents may or may not have regular visits from family with small children. And, Music Sparks provides a sense of consistency giving the residents involved a visit to look forward to.

How does an intergenerational program benefit your residents?

Kathy: Many of the residents look forward to this activity. They leave the group feeling uplifted. And, for those lacking regular contact with grandchildren, it provides them a chance to enjoy relationships with other generations. We have also had a few great-grandchildren of residents take part in the program. Having this as a way to support those relationships is a plus.

How does music impact the intergenerational programming offered at your facility?

Treva:  Music is a universal language creating a variety of responses and expressions from all generations providing an atmosphere of positive socialization, stimulation, interaction and great memories.

Would you encourage other facilities to consider similar programs? If so, what should they consider?

Treva: I would encourage all communities serving the aging population to consider similar programs giving both generations the opportunity to experience the senses of touch, sight and hearing in a positive social and nurturing environment.

Kathy: They definitely should consider including a similar program. If they have questions, they can call and ask.

A big thank you to Treva and Kathy for taking the time to answer these questions. And, thank you to the residents of CedarView who regularly open their home and their hearts to this program.

If you live in the Hays, Kansas area and have a preschooler you would like to involve in intergenerational programs, check the events page for more information on Music Sparks Sharing.

*Enrollment is closing on our first 2014 session on January 15, 2014.

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