The Bristal Assisted Living Blog

Posted by The Bristal  |

Discover the Benefits of Intergenerational Relationships for Seniors

Discovering ways to improve our well-being as we age is important. Many of us may live far from family and friends, making socialization challenging. Connecting with younger people is a great option for older adults to form meaningful relationships and find a sense of purpose.

This blog from The Bristal Assisted Living discusses the benefits of intergenerational relationships. 

Studies on the Benefits of Intergenerational Relationships

Studies over the years have shown that adults can have a positive impact on a child or young adult’s life. Children and mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters were involved in an older study in 1995 to examine how adult mentors affected the lives of the youth in the program.

The children who were matched with adult mentors and met on an average weekly basis for 18 months experienced the following:

  • Reduced first-time drug use by almost half
  • Reduced first-time alcohol use by a third
  • Cut school absenteeism by half
  • Improved parental and peer relationships
  • Improved confidence in doing schoolwork

A report in 2015 shows how adults can help close the gaps of high school students struggling to graduate. The young adults in this report shared their gratitude to the caring adults who stepped in with encouragement and mentorship to stay in school and overcome adversity. 

An ongoing study since 1938, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, has found that relationships are critical to well-being, especially as we age. And relationships with younger generations can nearly triple your chances of happiness and joy compared to connections with peers. 

Researchers from Washington University’s Center for Social Development studied the effects tutoring had on older adults, where adults over age 55 helped young students on a regular basis. Many tutors reported improved mental and physical health, higher self-esteem, and more extensive social networks. 

Related: Benefits of Hobbies for Older Adults >>

Top Benefits of Intergenerational Connections for Seniors

Children and young adults benefit from intergenerational connections, much like seniors do. These relationships can have physical, mental, and emotional benefits for both young and older people. Older adults can experience improved cognitive function, increased empathy, and better physical health.

Intergenerational relationships can help prevent social isolation and loneliness, which can increase a senior’s risk of depression and physical health conditions. Social interactions can also have the following benefits:

  • Improved heart health
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • Lower stress levels
  • Decreased risk or delay of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved antiviral responses

According to the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, connections between young and older individuals can reap these rewards:

  • Improved mood
  • New learning opportunities
  • Increased sense of purpose
  • Stronger sense of connection

Related: Creating Joyful Moments >>

Intergenerational Connections at The Bristal

The Bristal communities encourage intergenerational connections with area students, team members, and loved ones during activities, holidays, special events, and meaningful programs with residents. 

You’ll often find resident birthday celebrations with team members, families, and friends. Local youth also frequently perform musical concerts, volunteer, and share their time and talents with residents.

Discover Life at The Bristal >>

Find Fun Ways to Connect with Grandchildren and Other Youth

Read our blog to learn how to build successful connections with children. You’ll also get tips on things you can do together and how to keep it simple and establish age-appropriate activities.


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