When searching for an assisted living facility for a loved one, the amenities most families look for are good food, friendly staff, and nice outdoor spaces. However, with increasing thoughtfulness regarding seniors' needs, coupled with an increase in the cost of education and housing on college campuses, a new and surprising trend might increase in popularity.
Senior living facilities in Europe were the first to introduce the concept of mixing young adults with aging adults in a single housing unit – which has benefits for both age groups – and a few universities in the United States have picked up on this trend.
The programs in Europe, on which the American programs are based, provide free room and board to college students who live in a senior living facility and spend a particular amount of time per week in the facility, interacting with the senior residents. Not only do these programs have societal benefits, like combating ageism and stigma associated with the elderly, but they cater to a direct need of seniors – more human interaction. These programs can combat sadness and loneliness for both populations, and the interactions seniors have with younger adults may even lead to a decrease in memory loss symptoms.
Based on an article published in Senior Care, programs like these are a win-win, and it will be exciting to see where this trend leads.
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