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This preschool inside a retirement home makes perfect sense for both kids and seniors.

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Welcome to the Inter-generational Learning Center, a preschool and nursing home rolled into one.

An older resident helps a little boy button his jacket. All images via “Present Perfect.”

What if you could take all the best things about kids — like their honesty, energy, or optimism — and all the best things about seniors — their stories, patience, and worldly wisdom — and put all that magic in the same room?

That’s exactly the thinking behind the Inter-generational Learning Center in Seattle, Washington.

The ILC sits inside Providence Mount St. Vincent, which is home to over 400 permanent senior citizen residents. In addition to the seniors, 125 young children attend preschool there, their days filled with art classes, music, and more.

What’s makes the ILC different is that a few times a day, the seniors and the kids get together for joint exercise, storytelling sessions, lunch, and more.

And the results are absolutely amazing. For everyone.

Spending time with kids is great for seniors physically and mentally.

The seniors and kids interact every day, whether they’re exercising, doing crafts, or just hanging out.
Long-term senior care can sometimes be pretty bleak. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 80% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, which can lead to high levels of depression. A 2009 study estimated as many as about 28% of seniors in nursing homes take antidepressants for either major or minor depression.

 

Inter-generational-care groups have found that older adults who are able to spend time with children enjoy better emotional, mental, and physical health. Some say that those seniors wind up burning more calories and performing better on memory function tests when they spend time with children, too.

Putting aside the science and the research mumbo jumbo, you can see all you need to see in these seniors’ smiles.
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About Barry G. Morris

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