The house of generations in Switzerland: a retirement home/nursery
In America we have nursing homes and day care centers. We assume that these are separate facilities. The Swiss must ask themselves: why? Generationenhaus Neubad (Generation House Neubad) in Basel is both for the benefit of children and the elderly.
Every weekday morning, the facility’s “Movement and Encounter Landscape,” a sort of combination playroom and physical therapy center, is packed with people from both generations.
“The common physical, mental, and social resources of our elderly and children should be captured and promoted in playful ways,” GH writes. “Children in particular have a natural need for movement and can thus inspire residents to ‘move with us’. Both children and residents benefit equally, fear of contact is reduced and mutual respect is built. children encourage residents to try new things and residents teach children to open up to people of all ages.
“An anti-hair loss program is integrated throughout the process. Its aim is to maintain and promote independence, quality of life and social contacts. In joint playful training, aging processes are reduced in residents and developmental processes in children are promoted Something new is created every day There is experimentation, play, learning, exchange, development and traditions are not neglected .”
Meals and necessary preparations are another opportunity for intergenerational interaction. The two generations cook together in small groups, under supervision. “When they cook ‘big and small’, the residents support the children, they help them with the preparation (cutting, washing, peeling, rolling out the dough, etc.) and show the rules of the table by eating together. For a certain To some extent, residents take on the role of grandparents, and this process can be quite lively, which has a positive effect on both parties, and children, on the other hand, stir up residents’ spirits with their bright eyes.
“In order to create a family environment, the cooking is done in small groups of 3 children and 3 boarders. She is accompanied by a nursery specialist and a specialist in care and one in everyday life.”
A difference in experience is that the children go home at 7 p.m., while the boarders, 87 in number, stay. Some live in simple single rooms, while others share senior apartments of 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5 rooms (the .5 being a bathroom). Each living space has a balcony, and there are of course caregivers on site 24/7.
In addition, group excursions are organized with both generations once a month, with day trips to fairs, festivals and markets. And for parents whose generation above and below them spends time in the facility, the convenience is unbeatable.
In short, the Generation House seems like a good idea, and it’s a shame that the idea is not more widespread. Could you see this working in the US or other parts of the world, and why or why not?