Our program titled “Bridging Generations” is a project that was created in September 2015 with the vision of inspiring the world by promoting intergenerational relationships. We want to bring together the elderly and youth for the purpose of learning with and from each other through therapeutic recreation, education, and social activities.
One of the ways we go about bringing together the elderly and youth is conducting our “Bridging Generations” program at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and community centers. The purpose of our program is to improve the health and social wellness of those we serve, while developing skills, establishing values, and providing a sense of empowerment. These interactions help all generations by providing mentorship opportunities; stimulate the mind through educational activities, and improving health by being actively involved.
The reason we started this program is because we have identified a huge need in advanced therapeutic recreation, education, and social activities within nursing and assisted living facilities. According to USNEWS.com (2016), the average physical therapy time residents receive at nursing facilities in the State of New York is 7 minutes. This crisis is very concerning due to the fact that many residents suffer from depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive disorders.
Throughout the United States, many nursing and assisted living facilities are experiencing staffing issues due to budget cuts. The lack of staffing at these facilities has the biggest effect on the level of attention and quality of social and therapeutic recreation services residents receive. Seeing this as a problem we look to expand our program in hopes to remedy this social crisis.
In September 2015, we partnered with Montefiore-Schaffer Extended Care Center and introduced “Bridging Generations” as a weekly Therapeutic Recreation program. Currently we serve the Dumont Center in New Rochelle where the program was introduced in August 2016. Our goal is to continue growing our trained volunteer base and partnership with other nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and communities to expand “Bridging Generations.”