A daycare center in a retirement home

The beginning and the end, the old and the new generation under one roof. So many benefits for both sides! A daycare center in Seattle, USA, has decided to open its doors inside a retirement home for the elderly.

“We wanted to establish a vibrant, living community; to make it a place where people come to live, not to die.” – Charlene Boyd

This day-care center in a retirement home is actually a program set up to try and counterbalance the difficulties regularly experienced by the elderly, when they find themselves isolated from their loved ones, or even under-stimulated on a day-to-day basis. This winning formula enables retired people to share their days with children, to relive their “youth” by watching the little ones grow up and keeping them company. “We wanted to establish a vibrant, living community; to make it a place where people come to live, not to die,” reveals one of the administrators of The Mount retirement home.

The idea of inserting a day-care center into a retirement home is an interesting one: studies suggest that exposing young people to elderly people on a regular basis increases their propensity to want to care for them later in life, and reduces the perception that an elderly person is frail or unskilled. Conversely, offering the elderly companionship and dynamism on a daily basis reduces the risk of deterioration in their general condition (mental health, neurodegenerative disease). Just as retirees can benefit from the presence of young people, so they in turn can share their experiences, enriching their own lives and education. Not to say that they would participate without asking for anything in return.

An excellent idea that deserves to be explored in different communities here and elsewhere!