SB Teen Elder Connect
One of the first psychologists to describe social development across the lifespan, Erik Erikson, made us all aware that age 60 and older is when we all experience the final stage of emotional development. There is a magical nostalgia that is shared when our Teens connect with Seniors to hear stories of their lives. Older Adults feel a greater sense of fulfillment when they have healthy connections to our Teens. We all have noticed how our children/Teens and Seniors “light up” when they speak with each other. There is a paradox today that although our Teens are more likely to have healthy, active Grandparents, they are also less likely to know their Grandparents well or visit with them frequently.
Through SB Teen Elder Connect, our programs provide:
- An opportunity for both to learn new skills
- Give Teens and Seniors a sense of purpose
- Help to alleviate fears Teens may have of the elderly
- Help Teens to understand and later accept their own aging
- Invigorate and energize our Seniors
- Help reduce the likelihood of depression in our Seniors
- Reduce the isolation of our Seniors
- Fill a void for Teens who do not have grandparents available to them
- Help keep family stories and history stay alive
- Aide in cognitive stimulation as well as broaden social circles when Teens introduce technology into the life a Senior
Various Programs include:
- Storytelling. Swapping stories is a great activity and can help build a connection.
- Learning skills. Many older adults have skills or talents that would be interesting for Teens, including weaving, crochet,
- fishing, baking, or even take care of animals.
- Reading to each other.
- Planning/preparing a meal.
- Talking about ethnic heritage. Share ethnic customs, discuss the meaning of a name in native language, or relate special stories passed down about culture.
- Planting seeds or gardening.
- Weather watching.
- Telling jokes.
- Discussing hobbies and sharing examples.
- Having Teens teach the Seniors a new technology
On-going invitation to our community leaders to harness the power of intergenerational relationships to increase community wellness by proposing Teen and Senior focused programs to Santa Barbara Wellness Center, Inc. for review and support approval. Please contact us.
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