The Child Development Center was founded in 1985 with the belief that intergenerational care benefits both children and seniors. Seniors present more natural familial type behaviors with the children and can serve as nurturers, mentors, historians, and storytellers. One study reported in Childhood Education showed that children in intergenerational programs achieved higher personal and social development and reading scores than children in regular programs.
At the same time, seniors benefit too. The receive the satisfaction of giving back, mentoring and sharing special gifts with the younger generation. According to Portland State University's Gerontology Department, seniors involved in inter-generational programs had better self-image, fewer sick days, and felt better about their own familial relationships.
Some of the fun things that happen at Willson House is the daily visits from "Grandmas and Grandpas" who come down to read to the children, play games and enjoy music together.
On Wednesday, September 10th starting at 3pm is the annual intergenerational Tea Party. So much fun is had by children, residents and their families as they have special food, drink from tea cups and dress up in fancy hats.
Grandparents are very special people and all of us at Willson House honor them and work very hard each day to help them live the best life possible. Call 503.585.6511 or visit our campus at 1625 Center St. NE in Salem to see what an intergenerational program is all about!