Collington is now the Poster Child for Intergenerational programs!
Samantha Flores and Collington are the featured story (with photo of our auditorium) in The New York Times reporing on a newly issued report on inter generation initiatives for seniors. The story begins.
When Samantha Flores wasn’t taking classes at the University of Maryland for her master’s degree in cello performance this past academic year, she could often be found hanging out with a bunch of 80-somethings. Ms. Flores, 28, along with another music student, was participating in a new artists-in-residence program at Collington, a nonprofit retirement community in Mitchellville, Md.
As the article reported:
Marilyn Haskel, a 72-year-old resident of Collington involved in selecting the students, said the young people often invited fellow music students to practice on the grounds, resulting in pop-up concerts. With no family nearby, Ms. Haskel said, “it was delightful for me to sit down and have conversations about their careers and what they’re planning.”
When residents learned that Ms. Flores didn’t have a car, they often drove her to campus. Ms. Flores struck up close friendships with many of the residents, including one she met in September who had recently been given a brain cancer diagnosis.
“We bonded over Bach,” she said, engaging in lengthy conversations about him. When the man died in February, Ms. Flores played a piece he had requested at his funeral: Bach’s “Sarabande: Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 in C Minor.”
“I promised I wouldn’t cry, but you can’t help that,” she said. “It was a very emotional moment.”
The trigger for the article is a new report from Generations United and the Eisner Foundation survey of 180 intergenerational programs.
That report itself cites a Harris Poll that found:
[P]lenty of support for programs that bring diverse age groups together to fend off loneliness. Ninety-two percent of Americans believe intergenerational activities can help reduce loneliness across all ages.
A strong majority of Americans (94 percent) agree that older people have skills or talents that can help address a child’s/youth’s needs and 89 percent believe the same about children and youth addressing the needs of elders. More than four in ve Americans also say if they (85 percent) or a loved one (86 percent) needed care services, they would prefer a care setting with opportunities for intergenerational contact rather than one with a single age group. Americans were also clear that age segregation is harmful, finding that almost three quarters (74 percent) agree that “programs and facilities that separately serve different age groups prevent children/youth and older adults from benefitting from each other’s skills and talents.
Given all that is now happening in this field, way beyond music, we will need to keep innovatintg to stay in the lead — another major task for our strategic planning process. Indeed, onsite child care was an idea that came up frequently in the process.
P.S. One little thing I would like the photo committee to do is take on making a set of before and after photos of our residents, showing the huge impact grandchildren visits have on us.
P.P.S. The TV version is on WJLA, here.