One of the struggles many seniors face is feeling disconnected from others. Connecting seniors with younger generations gives meaning and enjoyment.
Isolation, loneliness, and sense of purposelessness all contribute to depression in seniors. When seniors have the opportunity to pass on knowledge, their quality of life can improve.
Seniors have hard-earned wisdom, skills, and love to share. Helping seniors connect with others, especially younger people, is beneficial for everyone.
Reasons Seniors Should Connect with Younger People
#1 Reason: Seniors and young people can learn from each other. Other reasons include:
- Improved quality of life for seniors
- Greater sense of purpose
- Sharpens seniors’ memories
- Exposing youth to the aging process develops compassion
- Strengthened communities
What Seniors Have to Offer Younger Generations
There is no age at which people stop having something to contribute to others. Seniors actually have a lot to offer to younger generations, including their wisdom, experiences, and friendship.
Some of what seniors can pass down include:
- Recipes they’ve created and/or mastered
- Games or hobbies that people of all ages enjoy
- Advice from all sorts of real life experiences
- Skills like knitting, drawing, woodworking, etc.
- Memories of history / observations of cultural changes
- Family history and relationship advice
- A great example of listening and caring well
Every individual senior will have different treasures accumulated throughout life that they can share with others. Talk to seniors to find out what they are passionate about and then connect them with youth who share similar interests.
How Seniors and Younger Generations Can Connect
Seniors and younger people can connect through a variety of programs, as well as in personal relationships.
Whether seniors contact a local school and ask how they can help or they sign up with a program, there are many ways they can volunteer with younger people. Many libraries, preschools, child care programs, clubs, and religious programs welcome older volunteers.
The wisdom, stories, and lessons seniors have amassed over their lives are valuable. Seniors can write a memoir, record their voice while they tell stories, or ask for transcription assistance from younger people.
Technology today allows seniors to connect with younger people anywhere. Using Skype or a similar program, seniors can have conversations or teach skills to youth all over the world. Some schools also support virtual pen pal relationships between seniors and kids.
Younger Groups Seniors Can Connect With
- Children / Grandchildren / Neighborhood Kids
- Boys and Girls Clubs like 4-H or Boy Scouts
- Religious Classes or Groups
- Library Reading Groups
- School Classes needing volunteers
- Vocational Tech Groups
- Daycares / Preschools
- Afterschool Programs
If a senior has physical limitations or communication issues, it may be best for seniors to volunteer by working on projects at home. For example, a senior could record stories or make crafts that they help deliver to family members or other young people instead of working alongside them out of their home.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.