combining eldercare and childcare under the same roof creates joy and magic in the moment

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walking in the hall paint daubs

 

I cried as I watched this video: tears of happiness for the magic of this place, and tears of despair for all the missed opportunities to create joy in the lives of our most vulnerable–the very young and the very old.

“The Mount” in Seattle has proven eldercare and childcare can be combined to create rich, loving, joyful, active, engaged environments that benefit everyone involved.

The Mount is home to 400+ elders and 100+ children (in their own dedicated facility). It’s a model that works. Let’s combine pre-schools, kindergartens, daycares with eldercare facilities in multiple win scenarios.

Isolating the elderly–especially people who absolutely ADORES children–makes no sense.

Let’s create environments and communities that foster engagement and LIVING rather than places where people die a little every day until they finally stop breathing out of sheer boredom.

Just look at the possibilities (thanks to CBC for the story):

 

 

 

Let’s experience present perfect every day.

Every day until we die.

 

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9 Comments

  1. I’m a Montessori teacher who is now an early childhood professor. Have read about this ideal for years, though very few exist. Is anyone aware of any grants that might be available to create this? Would love to build on to an existing adult care facility, study and present (build awareness) about strengths and outcomes for all involved (adults, children, caretakers, teachers, administrators, families)

    • Susan, thanks for your comment and your interest in this innovative approach to child and elder care. Sorry to say I don’t know if any grants that might be available, but if you find one and do some work and come up with some conclusions, I’d be happy to know about them!

  2. Hi Susan, thanks for sharing this video about Intergenerational programming. One of my rewarding professional experiences involved working with seniors living with dementia and community children coming together for activities. Each day I observed a wonderful, meaningful connections being made and a new addition of a “quality of life” for the seniors in my care. The intergenerational program invited children from the community to join in many activities, and in turn, build a healthy rapport between the seniors and the children. My seniors bond brought smiles, laughter, a sense of dignity and a true meaningful “purpose” for each senior.

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us Susan! I think it is possibly the most wonderful video I have watched… like they say it is SUCH a simple common sense philosophy, why isn’t this common practice everywhere!
    In our busy modern lives our children are losing out on that “extended family environment”, parents are engaged with work, responsibilities and even being on their mobile phones. You can see how much those little ones were getting from the interaction too, that joy when someone has the time to spend with them.
    It’s just such an obvious answer to such obvious needs that are a result of our changing lifestyles.

    • “You can see how much those little ones were getting from the interaction too, that joy when someone has the time to spend with them.”

      Yes, there only seem to be upsides: more joy, more laughter, more connection, more love, more happiness, more fun, more learning, more meaning…. <3 <3 <3

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