Engage at every age – The benefits of intergenerational relationships

Intergenerational relationships bring immense value to both young and old.  The young may gain a mentor to learn from experiences and for elders, the youthful spirit keeps them current and engaged.

Research shows that there are major health benefits of socialization, and not surprisingly, research is also showing that there are huge health benefits to intergenerational interaction – for both the old and young alike.

Cross-generational socialization is also good for brain health and that it may lower the risk of dementia and other chronic diseases in seniors. It may slow the aging process and promote better health in senior years. In fact, research shows that people with more social support tend to live longer than those who are more isolated.

Social engagement is also associated with a stronger immune system leading to a better defense against colds, flu, and other health risks.

Active, involved older adults with close intergenerational connections consistently report much less depression, better physical health, and higher degrees of life satisfaction. They tend to be happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future.

Here are just a few of the many benefits you can receive from intergenerational relationships:

  • Children who spend time with older adults growing up have a better outlook on aging and are less ageist
  • Reduced feelings of isolation and loneliness in older adults
  • It provides a perfect opportunity for young and old to learn new skills, especially communication and technology skills, from one another
  • It builds a stronger community
  • It gives older adults a sense of purpose and helps younger generations have a great respect for and value of older adults
  • It helps keep stories and history alive within families and the greater community