It’s no surprise that aging in long-term senior care facilities sometimes has negative annotations; and with good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about eighty percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, which can lead to high levels of depression. So how are we supposed to take care of our aging Arizona retirees to assure they have a happy, fulfilling retirement? How about we throw some kids into the mix? That’s right. Putting preschoolers in the same space as senior citizens for learning and development. This is called an intergenerational learning program and it could quickly become a growing trend in the future. Here are some benefits of Intergenerational learning programs.

Studies have shown that interaction between the generations benefits both senior citizens and children alike. Older adults who regularly spend time with children are more optimistic, take better care of themselves, and have been shown to have longer attention spans. Some say that program seniors burn more calories and perform better on memory function tests when they spend time with children, too. Meanwhile, children are learning things like patience and acceptance which could help improve their academic performance and social maturity later in life. Best of all, nearly 500 intergenerational programs have popped up all over the country with a few programs in Arizona alone.

In fact, according to the non-profit organization azfoundation.org, the Phoenix area was recently named one of the Best Intergenerational Regions in the U.S. The Benevilla adult retirement community in Surprise, Arizona, the National Finalist for the 2015 Best Intergenerational Awards, features a Life Enrichment Program which pairs it’s senior residents with the children enrolled in Wirtzie’s Preschool and Child Care.

For more information about intergenerational learning programs and finding your perfect Arizona retirement community, contact Sharon Mason today.