March 18, 2019
Senior mentor programs benefit older adults and the younger generation alike. Learn more about mentoring programs and how to connect with one near you.
Retirement is a time in life when older adults are typically free to recreate themselves. Some pursue a new hobby or even launch a new business. Others find themselves immersed in volunteering their time to a cause they believe in. Many times, this includes organizations that work with children or young adults. Senior mentors are one example.
Mentors are older adults who share their talent with the younger generation for an extended period of time. Senior mentors have been particularly active as tutors for school-aged children and guiding young adults in career advancement.
Here are a few ways senior mentor programs can make a positive difference in the lives of both generations.
4 Benefits of Senior Mentorship Programs
- Reduce loneliness: Loneliness and isolation are all too common among older adults. Mentor programs give seniors an opportunity to connect with others in productive ways. But older adults aren’t the only ones who experience loneliness. Children and young adults may also struggle with it, especially if they don’t have strong family ties. Senior mentors can help the younger generation feel comfortable with elders and develop healthier attitudes about aging while also providing companionship.
- Reduce ageism: It’s common for people to socialize within their own age group. Parents develop friendships with parents their children play with. Young adults hang out with school friends. Seniors spend time with people who belong to their retiree groups. This form of segregation can lead to generational stereotypes. Senior mentorship programs cross age boundaries and help the generations learn to appreciate each other in new ways. This can help to reduce ageism.
- Opportunity to learn: Another advantage to intergenerational relationships is the mutual learning opportunities they create. Seniors have wisdom that comes from life experience. Mentor programs allow them to share that knowledge with children and young adults. Seniors can also learn from younger generations. Whether it is teaching a senior to master technology or how to use social media, kids have knowledge to share too.
- Builds community: Intergenerational mentoring programs can help improve entire communities. They promote cohesion, save taxpayers money, and build bridges across generations. All of these benefits help to create healthy, thriving communities.
How to Find a Senior Mentor Program
Various mentoring programs around the country give people the opportunity to connect with other generations.
- Senior Corps Foster Grandparents Program: Connects volunteer foster grandparents with at-risk children and youth in their community.
- Generations United: This is a database made up of intergenerational program sites visitors can explore.
- MENTOR: Connects volunteers to youth mentoring programs in their local areas.
Life Enrichment at Legacy Senior Living Communities
At Legacy Senior Living communities, you will find an abundance of life enrichment opportunities. From activities and workshops to volunteer programs, residents have all the support they need to live a meaningful, engaged life. We invite you to schedule a tour of the community nearest you to learn more!