Staying connected to people within our peer group plays an important role in both physical and mental health, no matter our age. However, spending time with people younger than us can be just as positive. Here are just a few benefits to staying involved with the younger generations.
Regular involvement with younger people helps seniors stay mentally sharp. An Australian study conducted with elderly women found that grandmothers who watched their grandchildren at least once a week performed better on cognitive tests than grandmothers who didn’t. However, both groups of grandmothers scored higher than elderly women who had no grandchildren at all. While there are many other determinants that play into cognitive health, such as environmental and hereditary factors, social engagement has proven particularly effective at helping seniors maintain cognition.
As well as aiding in cognitive health maintenance, regular interaction between seniors and younger people has been shown to significantly improve the mental health of both groups. A 20-year study conducted across multi-generational families found that, for both grandparents and adult grandchildren, regular interaction reduced depressive symptoms. Grandparents who only received support without providing it to their relatives were actually shown to have increased symptoms of depression. A give-and-take relationship appears to be most effective at improving and maintaining mental health for all age groups.
Strong links between children and their grandparents directly benefit the child as well. In a separate study, close grandparent-grandchild relations were shown to decrease emotional and behavioral problems for students aged 11 to 16.
Multi-Generational Program at The Courtyards
“A resident favorite during the holiday season is the many high school music programs that visit the community,” Liz Lawson, Executive Director, said. “Each year, Satin Strings and choirs from the local high school perform many holiday favorites in the dining room. The music is so moving, it often brings us to tears Choirs visit on into the evenings many times through the holidays.”
“Every Tuesday, a church group comes in to play the piano and sing with the residents living in our Memory Care neighborhood. The residents hold their hymn books and sing along.”
Would you like to volunteer for our Multi-Generational Program or learn more about The Courtyards? Call (432) 339-1048 today!