population pegs 20.2% of the population at 0-14 years, 67% at 15-64 years and 12.8% at 65 years and over (The World Fact Book, 2010). According to the report of the U.S. Census Bureau (2001), the rate of growth of the U.S. population between…
Programs designed for intergenerational care are proving to be very important considering the rapid growth occurring in the two special groups namely the preschoolers and the baby boomers. Especially in the modern context of absence of easily accessible extended families, double-income families (i.e., two working parents) and single parents, programs integrating different generations are deemed invaluable. Intergenerational programs have been defined by the National Council on Aging as “planned activities that increase cooperation and exchange between any two generations for their mutual benefit.” (James and Leon, 1992). These initiatives basically aim to bring young people and older adults together at various venues “to interact, stimulate, educate, support, and provide care for one another” (Kaplan, 2001). Currently, about two million older adults are engaged in intergenerational programs wherein they serve children, youth, and families. (http://family.jrank.org/pages/903 Intergenerational-Programming-Program-Models.html).
One type of intergenerational programming, of the several in vogue, involves on-site daycare for children wherein the preschoolers interact with older adults e.g., from adult day services, assisted living or nursing home residents. The theory essentially is that the needs of toddlers and the elderly are not in opposition. The intergenerational programs provide the elders and children the opportunity to interact on a daily basis. That is, the program modules basically promote cross-generational socialization. Belonging to age groups that have limited socializing opportunuties, both older adults and young children are likely to derive the greatest benefits from such intergenerational experiences. Besides, it has also been felt especially important for preschoolers to experience the benefits of intergenerational programs to help them overcome the negative ...
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