Intergenerational relationships benefit both the young and the old. At Artman, we are fortunate to have a KenCrest Child Care Center on our property. This allows our residents to visit with children often, and develop meaningful relationships.
Every Thursday, KenCrest children visit residents to sing songs, play games, have snack together, or just talk. The children also participate in a variety of resident activities throughout the year, including pumpkin carving, scarecrow making, and Christmas tree decorating. They also dress up in costume every Halloween and visit residents.
The children, who range in age from just six weeks old to 6 six years old, refer to the residents as Grandparents, and often develop special relationships with them. “The residents get to watch the children grow up, and they really look forward to seeing each other. The kids know that Thursday is ‘grandparents day’ and they are always excited for it,” said Kristi Schwartz, KenCrest program coordinator and early intervention teacher.
“Interacting with the Grandparents reinforces what we teach in the classroom. No matter how old or young or different we are, we’re all similar,” Kristi said. “It also teaches the children respect and patience.”
For residents who do not have their own grandchildren, or children who do not have grandparents, the relationships are especially meaningful. “It gives the children a piece of something that they don’t have,” Kristi said.
“I don’t have grandchildren, so I really enjoy seeing the kids,” said Gertrude Sadowski, a resident at Artman. “Watching them makes me so glad that I stayed home with my own kids and enjoyed every moment of it.”
Resident Louise Barnes agrees. “They’re adorable. It makes me so happy. Seeing them just lifts me up.”
“Whether you’re five or 85, everyone benefits,” Kristi said.
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