While they may not realise it, the generations can learn a lot from each other. The older generation can share from a lifetime of experiences and the younger can show how to rediscover your imagination to see the world in a new light. Right at Home is in a unique position to be the bridge.
Ruth Solomons of Right at Home Harrow believes in the power of intergenerational interaction and has been pioneering the way by introducing mixed generation workshops into her community. “I have a unique opportunity to offer something worthwhile to all members of my community. This year, on 7st March, World Book Day, we took some of our Clients for an arts and crafts session at a local nursery. The children and our Clients had a very enjoyable morning reading books and making book marks together.”
According to a report published last year, young people who regularly mix with the older generation develop better language, reading and social skills. United for All Ages (UAA) discovered children benefitted from spending time with older people and the elderly were less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness, therefore improving their quality of life. Stephen Burke, UAA’s Director said, “Our challenge to Britain is to maximise these benefits. Research shows there are lasting benefits of a good start in life.” The concept of intergenerational care and interaction was implemented in Japan in 1976 but is only recently being recognised in the UK as a beneficial experience for all.