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How Can Seniors Connect with Younger Generations

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on September 20, 2016

Everyone has experienced a generation gap at one time or another. Some seniors have a difficult time relating to today’s young people, presenting a special challenge for those who have kids in their lives they want to be closer to. However, there are a few ways your senior loved one can connect with the younger generation, and the Lincoln senior home care experts at Home Care Assistance have a few suggestions. 

Learn Something Modern

Kids are often proud of the skills they’ve learned and want to show them off, and they are happy to talk about their interests as well. Some kids are interested in science, while others love video games or dolls. Either way, your loved one can feel more connected to the younger generation if he or she learns about something that means a lot to a child in his or her life. Have the grandchildren bring over a Wii or a game of Guitar Hero and introduce your loved one to modern electronics in a fun way. If this isn’t your loved one’s style, encourage the grandchildren to bring over some sort of collection to share. 

Teach Something Old

Another way for seniors to feel more connected to the youth is sharing meaningful lessons. Talk with your loved one about skills most children don’t have and encourage him or her to teach a special child these skills. For instance, your loved one might show the grandchildren how to knit, crochet, or sew. If your loved one enjoys being outdoors, perhaps a lesson on gardening or bird watching is in order. Many of the skills your loved one grew up with will fascinate children even now. 

Get Involved in Activities

One of the best ways to conquer the age divide is to encourage your loved one to become involved in the activities their grandchildren love. Adults who run activities are often shorthanded and happy to have an extra pair of eyes or hands to help. Encourage your loved one to volunteer to read to children at the library, or he or she could also help backstage during plays or band concerts, just helping calm jitters and reassuring children they’ll do well. With so many different types of activities to choose from, there is bound to be something your loved one can get involved with and enjoy. 

Engage in Role-Play

Your loved one and a child he or she is close to can spend time observing each other throughout part of a day and either making notes or keeping in mind the things they both do and say. After the child and your loved one have a good feel for each other, challenge them to “switch places” for a set amount of time. Suddenly, your loved one is the child, and should try to act like him or her as much as possible, and the child pretends to be your loved one. This activity can lead to a lot of fun and laughter for both participants and show them that, though they have differences, they’re actually more similar than they thought. One good way to drive this point home is to sit down with your loved one and the child after the role-play is over and ask them to find similarities in the ways they both act and think. 

To learn more about why maintaining social connections with people of all ages is crucial, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Lincoln, Rocklin, and Roseville families trust, and our caregivers are expertly trained to assist with a wide variety of important tasks. For more information on our at-home care services, call 916.226.3737 today.

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