Intergenerational Care

Intergenerational Care

Intergenerational care is an alternative approach to caregiving, where stakeholders purpose to combine people of different generations within a shared environment. This approach ensures the intended beneficiaries share in mutually beneficial activities and experiences. The concept originated in the Japanese city of Tokyo, where a care home and a nursery school were merged. The concept of these shared settings was later adopted in Canada, the United States and Holland. There are numerous efforts that seek to popularize this approach to care giving in Britain. This strategy is evidenced by the prevalence of mass media reports that seek to raise awareness on the benefits that children and the elderly can draw from spending time in each other’s company. Children will benefit by acquiring improved communication skills, being empathetic and better realization of their socio-emotional development outcomes. These attributes have a positive impact on the general wellbeing of the children.

Question 1

The article chronicles the efforts of Judith Horowicz in establishing an intergenerational care facility in South London. The center, which is called Nightingale House has children and elderly persons in a common environment. Fay Garcia, an enthusiastic resident of this facility expressed her joy since she joined this facility. She states that seeking care in the facility has made her feel alive once more by offering her an opportunity to interact with children. The experience is more special for her because she did not have children of her own. Judith details other benefits that emerge from having people in joint care facilities while decrying the slow uptake of such institutions among care givers within the United Kingdom. The article ends with the emphasis on the benefits that both children and the elderly residents enjoy by seeking residence in such facilities.


Question 2

Judith opines that a majority of the persons she spoke to about the idea had a positive outlook towards the concept and expressed willingness to support her initiative. The major challenge she experienced was fueled by the misguided notion that the elderly persons will be enlisted as the primary caregivers for the children. Adopting this approach means all the elderly persons need to undergo medical and psychiatric testing to ascertain their suitability for child care. Such tests would be mandatory before the institution becomes registered and accredited by the government. This reality would also complicate the process of obtaining insurance because of the risks involved. She believes that improved outcomes are guaranteed if the society and other stakeholders can appreciate that both the children and adults will have dedicated caregivers. Interactions between these persons will strictly be social. This approach will guarantee that both groups have positive outcomes on their fellow residents in these facilities.

Question 3

Adopting the intergenerational care model to care giving has numerous positive impacts in the society. Elderly people need constant interaction to improve their health outcomes. Exposing them to children helps to provide deeper and meaningful interactions, which are measurable for the benefit of these elderly persons. Incorporating children in these environments eliminates social isolation, a phenomenon that bears negative consequences on the physical and mental wellbeing of the elderly persons. Children will promote the pursuit of meaningful lives among the adults by engaging them in physical and mental activities. These engagements result in improved outcomes among the adult population, including enhanced moods, and mobility. The elderly persons may also report improved memory as a result of these encounters. Consequently, introducing children in the vicinity of these elderly persons has the overall benefit of reducing the medical costs that elderly persons would be forced to incur by reducing the rate of admission to medical institutions.

A critical outcome of these interactions is the reduction of operating costs. Administrators of care facilities will appreciate the importance of having common facilities because of the reduced expenditure avenues. Regulatory bodies and other proprietors of such facilities will save on rent, catering charges, costs for ground maintenance, utilities and other administrative expenditure that is critical to the successful operationalization of such facilities. Reduced revenue and increased expenditure by state agencies means such bodies will exploit all available opportunities to save on their operational costs. Having shared facilities eliminates the need for states to disburse finances to different institutions. Similarly, administrators may enjoy better chances of attracting and retaining critical staff that can work in such institutions. This reality is attributable to the diverse experiences these employees will enjoy when discharging their duties, a reality that denotes increased levels of fulfillment.

It is also noteworthy that children who are exposed to intergenerational care facilities derive numerous benefits from their interaction with the elderly persons. Studies show that these children exhibit improved developmental outcomes through enhanced realization of their developmental milestones. These children develop superior language capabilities, as manifested in their reading and speaking proficiency as compared to their peers. Similarly, such children exhibit higher levels of self-confidence, which is transmitted to them by their elderly companions. The most important benefit that is derived by children from this process is the improved psychological awareness. Some of the elderly persons in these facilities rely on wheelchairs, hearing aids, crutches and other medical aids to facilitate their mobility and physical interaction with their environment. This reality means that increased awareness eliminates the possibility of denial and other negative developmental aspects that may affect the children when they grow old and experience such changes in their bodies.

Question 4

The intergenerational care model has positive prospects for the growth and development outcomes of children in the community. The approach allows two needy categories to feed off each other’s strengths while satisfying their inherent needs. This reality is critical to the positive outcomes of social work because of the numerous positive outcomes that are attained with minimal efforts within this model. As a student of social science, I believe that the only challenge to the implementation of this model may be administrative. This challenge will be fueled by the reality that some of the administrators may impede the rollout of these facilities because they are ignorant to the inherent benefits that can be realized upon the successful implementation of this approach. Another challenge emanates from the absence of supportive legislation, which will provide a regulatory framework to guide the operationalization of such facilities. Implementing these rules protects the welfare of the elderly persons, the children and their caregivers by preventing instances of abuse. Lastly, people may also have negative attitudes towards this model, a reality that may affect its rollout and implementation. Public awareness initiatives will play a critical role in educating the masses, especially relatives of the children and the elderly persons about the benefits they will enjoy by allowing their elderly to join such facilities.

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Summarily, adopting the concept of intergenerational care promises immense benefits to the society. Such interactions allow children to acquire critical developmental skills, including reading and empathy. This environment will also hasten the realization of developmental goals for children. Overall, it helps children to appreciate that growth is part of life. They also accept that old age may come with changes, including the use of wheelchairs and hearing aids, among many more. The elderly persons also benefit immensely from their interaction with children. Regular interactions eliminate the challenge of sedentary lifestyles that these persons often lead. The high energy levels that children have will increase mobility, hence metabolism among the elderly. Consequently, they will feed better, hydrate frequently and have improved sleeping patterns. Overall, increased activity and mobility improves the health outcomes and memory capacity of the elderly. These outcomes highlight the positive changes emanating from the adoption of intergenerational care facilities.

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