It’s been a difficult time for everyone. While coronavirus has drawn local communities together, there are many people who have become more isolated since March. That is particularly true for the oldest and youngest generations and those providing childcare and eldercare.
As lockdown eases, social distancing is still very much with us. That has forced people to be more creative in keeping in touch with friends and family and with people in care and isolated in local communities.
This autumn from September to November we are encouraging everyone to reach out and make connections in new and meaningful ways between older and younger people.
Mixing indoors may be a step too far at this stage, as confidence is re-built, and risks managed. But there are other ways in which nannies and others can help link the generations during Autumn for All Ages:
Outdoors – enjoying sports and games, gardening, music, and dancing
Online – from one to one facetime to group zooms where people share their favourite interests and chat
On paper – swapping letters and poems, art and photos, stories, and history
Other ideas - there are lots of ways to share what makes us human, our concerns and hopes in building meaningful connections between young and old
Bringing generations together can improve the health and wellbeing of people of all ages. For older people, intergenerational interaction can boost mental and physical health by reducing loneliness and engaging in purposeful activities. For children and young people, it can improve confidence and communication skills and change the way different generations view each other. For childcare and eldercare staff, these activities can make the job more rewarding and satisfying, as well as offering opportunities for career development.
We hope you can join in with Autumn for All Ages. Please share your ideas and activities by social media: #AllAgesMatter
Stephen Burke is director of United for All Ages. For more about AUTUMN for ALL AGES, visit: www.unitedforallages.com