Confirmation students from Advent Lutheran Church in Harleysville visited residents at Artman Lutheran Home, and spent the morning bowling, playing bingo and dancing.
Rachel Hammand, who is 11 years old, and Taylor Maritz, who is 12, especially enjoyed bowling with the residents. “It was so much fun. We set up the pins for them, and we got to bowl ourselves too,” Rachel said.
“It was really fun to see their reactions when they did well,” said Taylor. “They had a song that they sang when they got a strike,” Rachel added.
The girls also enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the residents. “They listened to us when we told stories, and were really interested in what we had to say. And we got to hear their stories too,” Rachel said.
Building intergenerational relationships is beneficial to everyone involved. According to Dr. David Lipschitz, geriatrician, (www.drdavidhealth.com) children who participate in intergenerational activities have enhanced social skills, better academic performance and are less likely to use drugs. For older adults, it helps them to stay active and social, and prevents loneliness and age-related alienation.
Intergenerational relationships bring together diverse groups, and help to dispel stereotypes about aging. It also provides an opportunity for older adults to share wisdom and insight with younger generations.
“It’s really neat to talk to the residents and hear about what it was like in the past,” Taylor said.