Senior Living: The Joy of Cross-Generational Bonding and Relationships
We all know the importance of close relationships to our happiness and health. Science has been clear on the benefits of these relationships, and the health hazards of loneliness, for some time.
When it comes to building these relationships, most of us gravitate towards those who are similar to us in many respects, especially age. But bonding with people who are different from us – including those from other generations – can provide depth and variety to our lives.
As a vibrant senior living community in Los Angeles, Melrose Gardens believes in creating an intimate and dynamic retirement experience that encourages meaningful friendships. In this article, we’ll explore the unique benefits of building relationships across generations.
Building Intergenerational Friendships
It’s easy to think that being separated by decades would prevent people from finding anything in common with each other, but there are ways to connect despite differences. Shared interests are the most popular way to relate to others; while some hobbies may be stereotypically “old” or “young,” nothing is exclusive to any one age group.
Staying connected to others is especially important for seniors, who are at increased risk of isolation. Across the world, many intergenerational living programs foster bonds between young adults and retirees. For example, in the Netherlands, some college students opt to live in retirement homes; comparable programs exist in France and America as well. Many of these programs allow students to live rent-free in exchange for helping older residents.
Similarly, a preschool was combined with a senior center in West Seattle, WA, which led to a profound transformation among older residents. Rather than segregate based on age, these innovative programs have created a new and improved model. In all cases, the mixing of different generations resulted in a happy and thriving atmosphere for everyone involved.
Cross-generational relationships also provide mutual support. Older people often act as mentors, utilizing their wisdom to provide advice and guidance to younger friends or family. And younger people can take advantage of their youth by providing practical help to the older people in their lives.
While different generations are often portrayed as being at odds with one another, that doesn’t have to be the case. Being open to friendship with people born to different generations promotes the sharing of different perspectives, mutual understanding, and shared support.
At Melrose Gardens, we provide a warm and welcoming environment that inspires socialization and relationship building. Our adopt a grandparent program in particular helps residents develop meaningful cross-generational relationships. For more information about our senior living community, or to schedule a tour, click here.