The birth of a grandchild changes everything in a grandparent’s life...We have seen intergenerational interactions work beautifully since these are both age cohorts that require that extra attention and supervision.

At Epoch homes, we have often invited little kids from prep, nursery, kindergarten to come over, along with their teachers. We encourage these kids to just play around and be themselves and there is no pressure of formal interaction or activities. The toddlers don’t hesitate, they are so disarmingly and a delight to have around. They go and charmingly tug at a dadi’s dupatta with an innocent smile, or gently tap the hand of an uncle who is sitting by himself. Suddenly we see our elderly residents becoming very responsible in front of the kids. It is a beautiful metamorphosis that you can see. Though many of our residents are dependent, they start being concerned about the well-being of the kids and take care of the kids in their own way. For the kids, it normalizes seeing and naturally interacting with the older generation who may be in wheelchairs, or physically unfit. As kids and the elderly mingle with one another, there is unconditional warmth from both sides, which is truly therapeutic and generates positive vibes. 

We have also seen that in their own homes, grandchildren play a very important role in managing conditions like dementia of the grandparents esp in engaging them in activities or a routine. Role reversals play out beautifully- the grandchild becomes the responsible one and the elder is happy to follow their lead.

In Japan, there are Montessori schools within retirement communities. On one hand, it helps the kids of staff members to attend school within the premises, and, on the other hand, it also helps the interaction of the kids with elders.  It would be great to see this trend pick up in India also, as it is a win-win situation for society at large.
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