Intergenerational Programs – Kindergarten in the Nursing Home

Loneliness, helplessness and boredom – these are just three of the things that plague elders especially residents of long term care facilities. Lack of education about aging, interacting with elders, learning from elders – these are just three of the things that plague society.

So what better way to start to bridge the two than through inter-generational programs. I have written about these before. And have even mentioned some of the organizations I have worked with that are embracing intergenerational programming. For example, one of the places I have entertained at for years, ShadyLaneNursingCenter in Clarkesboro, NJ recently built a whole new facility and included a day care center for children in an adjoining building. While there are separate buildings and programs there are interactions among the children and elders that take place too.

Thanks to McKnight’s I learned about a nursing home that has taken this one step further.

Windsor Place

in CoffeyvilleKansas and the local school district opened a kindergarten class on site in August of 2008.

The following from their website:

The elders each day gather around in anticipation of the children’s arrival. The children arrive with smiles, eager to expand their education.

This Age to Age classroom is organized where children are partnered at various points throughout the day with the elders to read, exercise and learn valuable lessons that only the elders can provide. The children are also involved in activities at the school so that interaction with other children occurs and prepares them for next school year, when they will attend Community Elementary.

Windsor Place

is trying to unbecome a nursing home because nobody wants to go to a nursing home. We are employees in the home of the community seniors. We believe that “Good enough is never good enough, if better is possible!”

For more, visit Windsor Place online and also read McKnight’s editor’s blog on the topic.

0 thoughts on “Intergenerational Programs – Kindergarten in the Nursing Home

  1. Laura Bramly

    Thanks for letting people know about programs such as this. It’s time that we, as a society, started re-integrating our esteemed elders back into the community rather than separating them!