Here at Viva Vita, we are committed to empowering seniors to Live Life! each and every day to the fullest through our virtual reality experiences. Although technology is one avenue to achieve our mission, we recognize that screen time cannot replace the value of human relationships in the lives of seniors, which is why our sessions attempt to foster engagement via group settings in which seniors are able to share in the same experiences and interact with one another. Although this form of engagement is mostly between seniors, we’d like to shed some light on the importance of intergenerational relationships for longevity and health.
Life necessitates interaction with friends and family members of all ages, which involves navigation through the various stages of aging and development, whether we are conscious of it or not. When we are young, we largely depend on our parents, older siblings, and grandparents to guide us through life, help us make our decisions, and teach us the lessons we need to live on our own some day. As we grow older and simultaneously more independent, we return the favor to our older family members and friends by helping them through the aging process, keeping them active and engaged, and staying connected with them. Aging is often difficult and strenuous and intergenerational contact is crucial to combating isolation and late-life depression, a cause which we are fully committed to at Viva Vita.
Studies have shown that seniors can greatly benefit from volunteering or mentoring children and younger individuals. Intergenerational engagement allows seniors to learn new communication and technology skills, find new hobbies, pass along interesting life stories and anecdotes, and overall, feel less lonely and isolated as they age. These relationships also provide seniors with a more positive association with aging. Furthermore, interaction with younger generations has various health benefits for seniors. Studies show that seniors who regularly volunteer with children burn 20% calories more than those who do not and in general, are more physically and mentally sharp. Furthermore, younger individuals can greatly benefit from interaction with seniors as they navigate the transition from childhood to adolescence. Children who interact with seniors on a regular basis are less likely to get involved with drugs and alcohol or have depression. Interaction with seniors can help kids develop better communication skills and not to mention, learn from a world of knowledge and wisdom older generations have to offer. Intergenerational relationships also cultivate a more empathetic society, free from harmful, ageist stereotypes.
For more information about the benefits of intergenerational relationships and opportunities, please see the following articles:
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