Intergenerational Opportunities Make a Difference

March 26, 2018
Denise Hyde

Residents and Elders at St. Paul’s in Greenville, PA, benefit throughout the year from the collaboration that St. Paul’s has with Thiel College. The Joining Generations organization has three different components: Internships, Academics and Student Service. The team at St. Paul’s has even incorporated a student liaison position for each school year. This student helps with communications and coordinates resident needs and interests with student’s community service requests or requirements.

Many activities have been created and enhanced through Joining Generations, including the Annual Snowflake Ball. Elders living in skilled nursing look forward to this event each year. It is an enchanted evening complete with hors d’oeuvres, chocolate fondue, champagne fountain and live music. Students help with make-up, hair, decorations and provide companionship during the event.

The team at St. Paul’s has introduced Creative Arts Nite, which is a shared expression of the arts between students and residents such as Poetry Reading and a Sip and Paint experience.  Residents and their families were delighted with a Glamour Shots Day, courtesy of the Thiel Photography Club. Annually, Thiel students escort residents individually around the St. Paul’s Car Cruise, which showcases more than 200 vehicles and a vendor village.

St. Paul residents are able to attend classes at Thiel  College and the student internships in their home foster deeper connections as the younger generation experiences life in a setting for older adults.

Life Links involves 7th-8th grade students who receive information and training about the Eden Alternative philosophy and then volunteer on a consistent basis for visits, escorting and activities with residents.

How are you fostering the growth of meaningful relationships between the generations? The Eden Alternative has resources to assist in growing intergenerational connections with the Elders you serve. Embracing Elderhood is an educational experience to support Storytellers (Elders) and Recording Partners (youth) to capture the Elder’s legacy. Eden Apprentice is a training kit that any  Associate can acquire and use to inspire the growth of young change agents in their community.

Going to the 2018 Eden Alternative International Conference? Join us for a full-day DEEP DIVE session entitled: “Uniting Young & Old:  Driving Change By Building Meaningful Partnerships.”

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