Four Strategies for Involving Kids and Young Adults in Caregiving: Guest Blog by Jannette Escobar, Intern

The stress of caregiving can be overwhelming for both the caregiver(s) and those in need of care. Intergenerational activities (two different generations coming together for one purpose) can ease the burden of caregiving. Often family caregivers assume that children can’t participate in the process, but they can and should. Intergenerational activities provide a means for bridging the gap between the young and old by increasing social interaction, cooperation, and exchange between children and the elderly. Here are four strategies for involving kids and young adults in caregiving for seniors:

  1. Role-playing can engage children’s imagination and be a distraction to the caregiving process (e.g., playing chef/patron at a restaurant).
  2.  Technology (e.g., computers, smartphones, etc.) can become a useful tool in staying connected and preventing isolation. Children can provide tips and tricks on how to use their devices. Together they can expand on their interests, learn new talents, and mutually gain confidence in their communication skills.
  3. Playing games (whether it be tabletop or video games) can help with hand and eye coordination and is a great social activity.
  4. Take turns watching your favorite movies. Immersing yourselves in another storyline can provide an escape from the stress of whatever illness the person needing care is facing.

Establishing (or maintaining) a deeper connection through shared intergenerational activities will ensure that caregiving is a more rewarding process for everyone involved.

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