St. Ann Center is among the programs featured in “All In Together,” a report issued by Generations United (GU) this week citing the benefits of intergenerational shared sites. A Harris Poll, commissioned as part of the report by The Eisner Foundation and GU, found just 26% of Americans “are aware of places in their community that care for children/youth and older adults together.” However 94% believe older adults have talents they can share to benefit youth, and 89% believe the same about youth meeting the needs of elders.
St. Ann Center was spotlighted for being one of the few nationwide to successfully replicate their programs in multiple locations. Casey Rozanski, St. Ann Center’s vice president of fund development and marketing, shared insights in the report around the center’s commitment to strengthening the communities where we serve by hiring the majority of staff from the surrounding neighborhoods.
“The demand for quality children and youth services compounded with the increasing need for creative older adult programs creates an environment ripe for innovative age-integrated care. For many communities facing limited resources to build and rehabilitate facilities, intergenerational shared sites that serve all ages save dollars while making sense.” – Donna Butts, executive director at Generations United
Some of the many benefits of intergenerational shared sites highlighted in the report include:
- Preschool children involved in intergenerational programs had higher personal/social developmental scores (by 11 months) than preschool children in non-intergenerational programs
- Children who regularly participate with older adults in shared sites have enhanced perceptions of older adults and people with disabilities
- Children working with adults with dementia developed empathy, patience and problem-solving skills
For Older Adults:
- Older adults in intergenerational programs experienced improved health and well-being and become less isolated and feel less lonely
- Older adults with dementia experienced reduced agitation and increased engagement during interactions with children
- 97% of adult participants in a shared site indicated they benefited from the intergenerational program and reported feeling happy, interested, loved, younger and needed