Whether it be with grandkids, younger relatives, or student volunteers, developing these connections can have great positive health effects on older adults, by energizing them and reducing isolation and loneliness that may occur at that age. Additionally, both parties can enjoy the chance to learn something new and gain a sense of purpose.
This holiday season (and beyond) there are several different ways you can engage with younger generations in fun, healthy, mutually beneficial ways. Here are some ideas inspired by our communities:
Play a new game / Learn a new activity
Playing games is not just for children- it’s something everyone can enjoy and benefit from. Whether it’s playing old fashion card games, or a contemporary game on a mobile app, participating in games or interactive activities promote cognitive stimulation, which is great for young developing minds and aging brains, alike.
Whether it’s in the written form of a letter or through simple conversation, sharing stories with younger generations offers older adults a chance to pass down the wisdom they’ve gained over the years, and gives kids the opportunity to take an exclusive peek into historical experiences. Alternatively, lending an interested ear to a young person’s interests and experiences can help older adults feel more in touch with the modern culture, and can help boost the younger person’s self-esteem.
Watch a Movie
Film has been a long standing way of connecting individuals, generations, and cultures. Having a day dedicated to watching old favorites or discovering some new ones, are universal methods of comfort, entertainment and connection for all ages. Even if you are not able to watch a movie with a younger person, just sharing favorite scenes and discussing favorite film stars is an effective and enjoyable way to connect with them.
Though the holidays provide more gatherings and occasions where these encounters may take place, the opportunities to connect with younger generations exist all year round!
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