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Intergenerational Relationships: How Older and Younger Generations Learn From Each Other

March 29, 2019

Intergenerational_2.jpgNumerous studies confirm that intergenerational relationships and programs enhance the quality of life for the older generations, while in turn offer mentoring and more that younger people are often lacking. At Cassia, we see these wonderful relationships grow every day in our communities and are thankful to the Cassia donors and supporters who help make the programs that foster these relationships possible. We share a few examples below of these amazing relationships being formed across generations: 

Grandma’s House

One example of bringing older and younger generations together is at Grandma’s House Childcare. Stop by on any given day and you’ll find young children enjoying stories, music, and more. You’ll also notice the children interacting and getting to know the older adults from Cassia’s Redeemer Health and Rehab Center in Minneapolis, which is a part of Grandma’s House. With a desire to provide child care in a welcoming family atmosphere, Grandma’s House opened its doors in 2001. Understanding the benefits of bringing older adults and young children together, it feels good to know we’re lending a hand in enriching both generations’ lives.

JMP_7443-720x477-48de0733-927a-4a4a-a840-18b5d2b703da.jpgToday, children call Redeemer’s older residents and patients “grand friends!” One such friend is Herbert Kauffman, who is recovering from a serious illness. The children from Grandma’s House Childcare visit him often and created a birthday card which Herbert keeps in a place of honor. “Children are magic,” he says. “They motivate me to stay positive in my own life.”

Augustana Regent

Travel a bit south of Minneapolis and you’ll find another example of intergenerational relationships at Augustana Regent in Burnsville. Here, resident Jan Sullivan will tutor students from nearby Apple Valley High School who are learning English as a second language. Some students have gone on to become nursing assistants through the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program. This program involves a partnership between Apple Valley High School and Cassia to offer career opportunities to students interested in the health care field. “We get to know them and they get to know us,” says Jan. “That brings us all closer and makes everything possible.” 

River Bend Assisted Living & Memory Care

RiverBendMayoStudents3.jpgRecently, the residents at River Bend Assisted Living & Memory Care in Rochester took an early morning trip over to Mayo High School to sit in on a final presentation for a ceramic class. The students presented their projects created last semester and the residents were able to ask questions and give feedback. The students had an opportunity to learn about past art classes the residents were part of during their schooling or that they took up as adults. “We love the intergenerational connections formed during trips like these to our local public schools!” said Mikayla Vale, Director of Life Enrichment at River Bend. 

Baptist Health Care Center

The last thing staff and residents at Cassia’s Baptist Health Care Center in Bismarck expected was a baby – but in the past several years, they have had the opportunity to care for two infants. Initially, the center was contacted by a local hospital to ask if they would be willing to care for a baby with special needs until a long-term solution could be found.

BaptistHealth_Baby.pngThe staff, residents and volunteers all embraced the opportunity to rock the baby to sleep and sing lullabies. Not long after, another infant came along needing care and some residents knitted special items for her. Staff members donated clothing and toys and others have pitched in to welcome the baby! “We are so pleased that Baptist Health Care Center is able to help not only older adults, but people of all ages in our community”, said Director of Nursing Deanna Berg.

Cassia is a new partnership between Augustana Care and Elim Care. At Augustana Care and Elim Care, we were each on our own uncompromising quest to foster fullness of life for older adults in the spirit of Christ’s love. We realized that our paths were converging, so we joined into one organization with one mission and one name: Cassia. Our name is inspired by an anointing oil, referenced in Scripture, to reflect our history of compassion, renewal, and future growth. We believe that coming together to contribute talents and skills makes us not only stronger but better able to serve. New name. New collaboration. Same values.