Why should we encourage youths to serve seniors?

old and young handAccording to the dictionary, the word “service” means: “the action of helping or doing work for someone” or “an act of assistance.” Service is a very important act to teach children that will have a longstanding impact on their growth as a person and their relationships with others. Why should we encourage youths to serve seniors?

Teaching children about service instills countless important character traits that will help them grow as individuals and members of society. Compassion, trustworthiness, reliability, selflessness and commitment are just a few of these traits. When they take time to intentionally serve others and turn their focus away from themselves, they will in turn grow individually.

So why service in relation to seniors? Having your child volunteer at an assisted living facility, geriatric care facility or home health care company can make a big impact. First of all, serving seniors will allow youth to learn about the older generation and the history of those that came before them. While they may feel like the stories are long or unnecessary, seniors have truly been where the kids are now and can speak to experiences they had and what they learned from them.

In addition, by volunteering with seniors at an assisted living facility, geriatric care facility or home health care company, kids will learn to have more respect for their own grandparents and will be more likely to serve their own family in the future.

On the other hand, youth serving seniors in assisted living facilities and geriatric therapy centers can help seniors, too. Being around young people who are full of life can help energize the seniors and put them in a good mood. They can share stories that remind them of when they were the kids’ age and stroll down memory lane. They can learn about new technology and trends from the people who usually adopt those trends first. Also, if they aren’t able to see their own grandchildren because they live far away or they don’t have grandchildren, these experiences can really touch their heart.

In addition, going through geriatric care, therapy or staying in an assisted living facility is hard and can wear on a senior ‘s mental, physical and emotional state. Having a visitor or helper around, a fresh face to spend time with or talk to, can make all the difference for a senior.

Why do you encourage your kids or community to serve at assisted living or geriatric care facilities?