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The Benefits of Preschools in Nursing Homes

By Heather Brown
June 26, 2015

Who would have ever thought of putting a preschool in an assisted living facility such as a long term nursing home, successfully integrating the old and the very young? Well, a Seattle nursing facility initiated this idea twenty-five years ago and it’s a winner for all involved. The little ones, the elderly, and the facility administrators all benefit as hope, joy, and community fills not only the building but also the hearts of all involved.

Purpose and Attention

At a time when the elderly may feel they are worthless or that certainly their best years are behind them, looking forward to day filled with the wide-eye innocence and unconditional acceptance of children is priceless.

The residents of Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle enjoy interacting with children as young as six-months through five years of age. The nursery school instructors organize planned activities and both groups jointly participate in arts and crafts, games, dancing and other activities.

The nursing home residents especially enjoy the nursery, and this a particularly wonderful opportunity for residents and for the babies, who benefit from personal attention.

Lessons Learned

The young preschoolers are exposed to the aging process and this helps them to comfortably accept being around older adults, and it also helps them to accept physical disabilities in others. Older adults reconnect and can absorb the good feeling that comes with being around young children.

Why Don’t You Try It!

A preschool situated in an assisted living facility is an innovative idea that works and deserves to be replicated. It’s a practical solution to help foster a community of bonding and unconditional love, and the children involved often enjoy one-on-one attention.

The logistics of incorporating a preschool inside of an assisted living facility may take some time and effort, but it will certainly set your facility apart from others making it a more attractive option for perspective residents. It also is a way to give back to the community by making people feel important and useful.

 

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