Minneapolis, Minn. (July 21, 2016) – KinderCare Learning Centers, the nation’s leader in early childhood education, and Brookdale Senior Living, an assisted living and retirement community provider, are working together to create an intergenerational program in the metro area, uniting some of the youngest and oldest members of the community.
Starting today, school-age children from local KinderCare Learning Centers will begin making once-a-month visits to seniors who have Alzheimer’s or dementia at Brookdale centers around the metro area. The children will join the seniors in an activity or project tailored to that community’s needs, for example, arts and crafts or story time. The program is the brainchild of Kimberly Baar, director of the Shoreview KinderCare center, who believes the connection students and seniors form during their time together benefits both groups.
“This program teaches children skills and ideas we can’t teach inside the four walls of our school,” Baar said. “We can talk to children about respect and generosity, but there’s nothing like putting those ideas into practice by visiting someone in their home. No book can teach that. My hope is that this program teaches children compassion and understanding for the elderly.”
Starting today, five intergenerational programs will launch in the Twin Cities area:
- Brookdale Blaine and Jefferson Street KinderCare
- Brookdale Eagan and Eagan Krestwood KinderCare
- Brookdale Edina and Bloomington KinderCare
- Brookdale North Oaks and Shoreview KinderCare
- Brookdale West St. Paul and KinderCare West St. Paul
In the coming months, the program will expand to all 10 Brookdale communities in the metro area.
“Intergenerational programs like these benefit both groups,” said Beth Landers, Business Development Director with Brookdale Senior Living. “Children not only gain an appreciation for older people, but a self-esteem boost from being able to assist others. Seniors, in turn, are able to form connections with people outside of their immediate family and caregivers, thus lessening the isolation that often accompanies old age. This program is farther reaching than the event we have together. It allows children to feel comfortable with their own grandparents and gives a platform of dining room conversations with Mom and Dad about Grandma or Grandpa. By removing the stigma and fear of aging and dementia with children, we are providing a platform for these conversations and general awareness.”
About Brookdale Senior Living
Brookdale is the nation’s leading owner and operator of Senior Living communities. For more than 35 years the company has offered senior living solutions within properties that are designed and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and accommodations. Currently Brookdale operates Independent Living, Assisted Living, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care communities and Continuing Care retirement communities, with more than 1, 160 properties in 47 states, along with home health, hospice, skilled nursing and other senior service options. The company is the nation’s largest provider of Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care.
About KinderCare Education®
At KinderCare Education, we believe that education creates brighter futures. We are passionate about creating a world of learning, joy, and adventure for more than 161,000 children every day. Our devoted family of education providers leads the nation in accreditation and includes KinderCare® Learning Centers, CCLC®, Champions® Before- and After-School Programs, Cambridge Schools™, Knowledge Beginnings® and the Grove Schools®. To learn more, visit us online at www.kindercare.com.