Residents and Children Share a Special Bond!

Our Intergenerational Program promotes love and friendship

What can a toddler teach a senior? A lot. Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s Intergenerational Program brings the two age groups together and fuses two common needs: to share and to be loved.

“Our commitment to improving the lives of those we serve includes providing opportunities for rich and meaningful experiences. This program does just that through Teddy Bear picnics, art projects, games and other fun activities designed to meet the developmental and social needs of both children and seniors,” says Lisa Williams, director, Westminster Canterbury Richmond Child Development Center. “Intergenerational programming is a formal, planned agenda involving a myriad of professionals from various disciplines including a social worker, teacher, certified nursing assistant and recreational therapist. What looks like just plain fun actually has a lot of thought behind it.”

A colorful, carefully patched together quilt hangs in the Westminster Canterbury Child Development Center lobby as a tangible symbol of the daily interactions between seniors and children. Together, both groups worked to put together as many patterns as they could find. “When they were finished, one of our interns sewed it together,” says Ms. Williams. “The quilt’s mismatched squares visually represent the diversity and variety of ways and methods we share, grow and learn.”

Intergenerational programming is enjoyed by residents throughout the campus. Many residents regularly volunteer, while less mobile seniors enjoy drawing pictures and singing with the children.

“Fewer children grow up in the same household with grandparents than did in the past. Thus, there is less daily contact between these generations, and as a consequence, less familiarity,” says Ms. Williams. “Intergenerational programs are one way of introducing young children and seniors to each other in a natural setting.”

For Westminster Canterbury Richmond residents, children and employees, intergenerational magic enhances the sense of community. If you would like more information, please contact Lisa Williams at 804.200.1170 or lwilliams@wcrichmond.org.

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