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Hurley pre-K students form bond with elderly



Hurley — The bond between Hurley pre-kindergarten students and Skyview Nursing Home residents is mutually beneficial.

Hurley pre-K teacher Katie Brunell on Monday told school board members the students visit the nursing home four times a year, usually around the holidays.

Board president Joe Simonich, of Kimball, employed in the health care field, attested as to how important the visits are to the senior citizens. He said as soon as the students leave the nursing home, some residents begin asking when they will return. “They look forward to it,” Simonich said.

Brunell showed slides to the school board of several activities involving interaction between the children and senior citizens.

Crafts and singing are usually part of the visits.

According to researchers, children can be good for the health of older Americans, as loneliness and isolation in the elderly have been linked in studies to poor health outcomes.

Seniors who live at home with little interaction with other people can also be adversely impacted; so companionship with children, or the responsibility of taking care of a pet, can help them emotionally.

Intergenerational activities can be easy and fun, according to the Healthy Aging Partnership, which notes older adults can learn about new technology, while serving as role models for children.

Teenagers who have difficulty relating to their immediate families may respond well to a caring older adult, HAP notes.

Among the areas that HAP points out that children can interact with older adults are cooking, gardening and learning computer skills.


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