Research shows that children as young as 5 have negative stereotypes of elderly people, believing them to lack competence. But these same children are overwhelmingly positive about the older adults in their family. This shows that visiting with older adults can help children overcome any uneasiness they may have. Spending time with our elders can also help children become comfortable with our aging population and bring cheer to those who are isolated and lonely. Call your local nursing home and ask about bringing the family for a visit. It’s always fun to ask residents about their life history, not to mention hearing about the pre-digital age!
Talk to your child:
- Sometimes people living in institutions get lonely. Have you ever felt lonely? What helped you feel better?
- What can you take along on your visit that might make the visit more fun?
Book to share: Effie’s Image by N. L. Sharp. Ages 4-8. When 82-year-old Effie decides she no longer has anything to offer the world, a neighborhood girl named Amanda refuses to let her give up.