Amazing things happen when you create a place to LIVE!

Seattle's Providence St. Vincent home for seniors is an inspiring example of how children can make a difference in elderly care. The house shares the space with 125 children under the age of 5. This scheme was to encourage the interaction between generations and to help break the cycle of loneliness and boredom that is common in homes. The staff wanted to create a home where people came to live, not die. Studies show that interaction between generations can slow mental decline in older people. It can also lower blood pressure along with reducing the risk of disease. But this is something that just doesn't benefit the elderly residents. Children who communicate with older people are also less likely to be ageist meaning that they are less likely to discriminate the elderly. The idea of combined centers for children and the elderly began in the 1970's in Japan. There are now intergenerational centers across Japan and North America.

The partnership between nursing homes and preschools is something that is being closely watched by specialists in both fields, is seeing positive implications for both the United States and Japan who have rapidly aging populations. The concept started in Tokyo in 1976, when

Shimada Masaharu merged a nursery school and a home for the elderly in Edogawa Ward. At the time he had no idea that the concept would attract worldwide attention. Kotoen started out as an ordinary nursery school, and during a renovation, it was paired with a senior center. By 1998, the amazing concept had spread to include 16 other similar type facilities. The benefits of the idea quickly became apparent. It was a good solution to loneliness and boredom that often happens in so many nursing centers. In a 2013 study, it showed that seniors began smiling and having more conversations amongst themselves. The seniors also exhibited delayed mental decline, reduced risk of disease, lower blood pressure and reduced death compared with those seniors who lived in regular facilities.

The good news is that the program doesn't only benefit the elderly. Toddlers and children also benefit by being around seniors; it helps them to develop respect and empathy for the elderly, which in turn enhances their social and personal development. For children who live far away from their grandparents, this arrangement exposes them to a part of society that they may otherwise not know about. The two groups get together on a regular basis, and they also get the chance to interact on holidays such as Childrens Day, Setsubaun, Tanabata, and the Hina Matsuri doll festival. One of the best parts of the program is an annual overnight summer camp trip to a beach in Chiba.

The partnership has made its way to the United States, with similar positive outcomes like the ones found in Japan. Seattle's Providence Mount St. Vincent began in 1991, Providence Mount St. Vincent with the Intergenerational Learning Center, where six days a week the 300,000 square feet of 125 children under the age of 5 years. The teachers in the home take the students to the residential floors to visit the elderly with 20 minutes for the infants with 60 minutes for the older children. Teachers are now required to have a minimum of 15 college-credit hours in early childhood education and complete an annual senior-care training. And with more and more seniors expecting to live to be 100 the concept it is sure to become a more poular concept in the future. This is just one of the stories you will find on Facebook. You will also find new celebrity news, recipe ideas, DIY ideas, crafts, step by step tutorials and so much more. **


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