We know that people with dementia benefit greatly from regular visits, regardless of the stage of disease. Even though they may not always recognize their guests, there is no better mood booster than a warm smile, a tender hug, or a good chat!
While visits from adult family members and friends are always beneficial, visits from children are especially rewarding for our residents. The bonds they form can be transformative. Here’s a great passage about the beauty of intergenerational connections from the Legacy Project: “The young and the old are most closely connected with the essence of living. They can exist in a moment that’s the grand sum of past, present, and future. Rather than time being the enemy – rushing time or stressing to fit as much into time as possible – time becomes a comfortable companion, a circle rather than a line.”
Many of our Autumn Leaves communities enjoy special partnerships with nearby schools and daycare centers. The residents are delighted by the company, and the kids love sharing their world with them. One of our favorite examples is a Dallas-area elementary school that started a monthly program where students bring their favorite books to read one-on-one with residents. Another community hosted a resident’s granddaughter and her ballet class who gave a special performance for the community one afternoon. When school choirs and student musicians fill our buildings with beautiful melodies, it’s not uncommon for our residents to join along in the music-making! Just another example of the young and the old finding joy in a common passion. It’s a wonderful reminder that these two generations have much to learn from one another!