Intergenerational Daycare Q&A
May 12, 2020
Innovation within the senior care industry can come in all forms. Sometimes we see it in technology, medical advancements, or even housing.
Today, you will be introduced to a new side of senior-related innovation that’s rather unique.
Under one roof, seniors and children can go to daycare together. Though their needs are slightly different, and the activities may stray from one another, this approach brings new life back into senior daycare and teaches children life lessons along the way.
Pam Lawrence and Jaime Moran from Kindness Creators Intergenerational Preschool were nice enough to answer some questions and tell us all about this unique approach to daycare. Note that we asked these questions in 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak that closed many senior living communities to visitors.
Q: Would you mind introducing yourself and explain your role with Kindness Creators?
A: We are Pam Lawrence and Jaime Moran and we started Kindness Creators Intergenerational Preschool to bring generations together through love and learning. We are both co-directors and teachers at Kindness Creators.
Q: What are the key benefits of intergenerational daycare?
A: There are many benefits for children when they attend an intergenerational program:
• They learn patience, kindness and acceptance of others.
• Children become more comfortable with different generations and people of different abilities.
• They have higher social maturity and in some cases higher academic performance.
Being with children help seniors to:
• Strengthen their emotional, physical, and mental health.
• When able to interact with children, seniors feel an increased connection to the world.
• Gain a sense of importance and purpose.
• And connections between the generations aid in the effects of dementia.
Q: How do children and seniors interact with each other on a daily basis?
A: When we set out to make a true intergenerational program we wanted to be right in the same building as seniors so we are located inside Oak Park Arms Senior Living Center in Oak Park, IL.
• The residents at Oak Park Arms can come to our room and volunteer during class time.
• We also go and visit residents that cannot come to us in their apartments.
• We have some residents that like to walk to the park with us to get exercise.
• Everyday we walk around on the main floor to greet our friends as well.
• We have ice cream socials with the residents.
• We put on an xmas show with the children and choir.
• We are always invited to all of their special events, such as senior prom.
• We had a luncheon with first responders/community helpers that OPA invited us to.
• We basically have an open door policy for the residents. Whenever you want to come down and visit you can come knock on our door.
• Our families adopted a grandparent for xmas and bought presents for our senior volunteers.
Q: Have you seen a positive impact (physically and emotionally) for both seniors and children?
A: The impact on both sides is absolutely heartwarming and amazing! When we started this program we were so excited to be able to spend our days with the preschool age children and the seniors; but it has become so much more than what we have imagined. This time together has made us a close knit family. We really miss our children and residents during this unusual time and all we want to do is get back to school and see everyone. Kindness Creators is a second home to the children, to us, and to the residents.
Q: Is there anything you would like people to know about intergenerational daycare that we haven’t covered?
A: Our intergenerational preschool has brought us (Pam and Jaime) so much joy to build and create. We have not one regret and cannot wait until it is safe to get back to our mission: connecting children and seniors through love and learning.
If you would like more information our website is: www.kindnesscreators.org
“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
Nic Bordwell, Director of Marketing