Research has shown that exercise is beneficial to our older population in many ways. Not only does it help with balance, chronic disease prevention and improved flexibility, but it also improves cognitive ability, memory and mood. Add in the activity of play with our younger generation and you have a perfect combination of physical and mental health benefits.
Play is good for everyone, no matter your age. For adults it is a form of relaxation, stress reduction and mood elevation. It fuels imagination, creativity and problem solving ability. The same holds true for children. Research has shown time and time again, that children who play do better in school both emotionally and academically. Children playing with older adults get the benefit of learning about how older adults are both the same and different. They get to hear stories and learn things about times before they were born. It is an opportunity to expand the children’s knowledge and gives older adults the benefit of sharing their experiences and stretching their memory muscles.
So, next time you are planning a play date, think about the older people in your circle of friends and family and make it an experience that benefits everyone, no matter the age.