Purpose Past Retirement: Intergenerational Daycare

Purpose Past Retirement: Intergenerational Daycare

After retirement, it may feel like your life has lost a little meaning. You had purpose getting up and going to work or taking care of the kids, so its easy to feel listless or a tad lost after all that’s done. Thanks to intergenerational day care, that’s not the case anymore.

Intergenerational daycares are programs in which adult care and childcare are combined in location and activity. These programs are beneficial for the adults and children alike, and are clearly doing well as more than 500 intergenerational day care facilities had opened up around the country in the last few years.

These unique programs offer benefits for adults like:

  • Enhanced socialization
  • More community engagement
  • Better emotional and mental health
  • Retained physical health

In fact, increased social interaction is so good for adults that its been linked to delayed mental decline, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of disease and death.

However, the most important benefit of intergenerational daycares for adults is the sense of purpose. Having the chance to mentor and teach young children can bring that pop back to your step and dignity back into your life post retirement.

Intergenerational daycare is also great for kids! Some benefits for the children include:

  • Improved academic performance
  • More positive attitude towards aging
  • Social maturity
  • Greater sensitivity towards people with disabilities

Many people bring up safety concerns when faced with the idea of intergenerational daycares. However, these facilities put mental and physical safety on the top of the list by taking steps such as:

  • Morning wellness checks to ensure child and adult health (no fevers etc)
  • Making sure all adults are in general good health, as these programs are not intended for hospice or near-death patients
  • Thorough background checks for all participating adults
  • Continuous supervision and support from professional staff with early-childhood training

But what do you do at in intergenerational daycare? Use these tips for inspiration:

  • One On One – Most daycare providers don’t have the time to give every child one on one interaction. Use your special position as an intergenerational care provider to spend quality time engaging with a child just the two of you.
  • Snack Time Chats – Help the kids learn about table manners and socialization by engaging with them during snack time or lunchtime. Ask them questions about their lives and families, and always be open to answering their questions for you.
  • Don’t Rush – Take your time with the kids. Read them books or stories before naptime, or just sit and play quietly. This slowed-down interaction is unique for intergenerational care facilities, and can mean a lot to child with many siblings or busy parents.

Want to learn more about intergenerational daycare? Check out these articles:

Do you have any experience with intergenerational healthcare? Or do you have specific questions? Please share in the comments section below!

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