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Networking and mentoring at all ages
Nothing creates better understandingbetween people than spending timetogether. Likewise, bringing together olderadults and youth helps bind us and createpositive experiences.
“Mentoring youth re-energizes seniors,”says Ruby Lecot, of LINKages Society ofAlberta. “They discover they have a lot tooffer and they become more active,” Sheadds that the youth who volunteer in oneof the society’s 15 programs also benefit.
“It’s incredible to watch their leadership
skills grow when they care for and interact
with higher-needs seniors.”
The organization’s MusicLINKS
program builds connections through
memories and emotions stirred by the
tunes the youth share with seniors.
In Cochrane, the Seniors for KidsSociety draws on older adults’ knowledgeto teach students. It links seniors withindividual children and classrooms, andhelps ensure that kids receive the lovingattention of a step-in grandparent.
Whether it’s older adults mentoringyouth or youth helping older adults inlong-term care—everyone gains.
To learn more, visit link-ages.caand seniorsforkids.ca. N
Meals build connections
Gathering to share a meal is especiallyhelpful in connecting people.
Wherever families gather for meals—around a table, kitchen island orpicnic blanket—young children get theopportunity to build their language skillsand vocabulary and learn about mannersand getting along.
When families sit down to eat together,parents can check in with kids, and kidscan check in with parents. Everyone cantalk about their day, share ideas and solveproblems; this cements family ties.
Teens who regularly eat with theirparents are often more socially adjustedand it also appears to reduce eatingdisorders in girls.
And when seniors eat with familymembers, it helps prevent isolationand malnutrition.
As well, families who eat together tendto eat more fruits, vegetables, grains andcalcium-rich foods and fewer fried foodsand soft drinks.
Eating together builds a senseof belonging, culture, familyand values. Sharing meals withfamily and friends contributesto everyone’s wellbeing.