As Americans we are all connected to the rich history of our nation, and Black History Month gives us the opportunity to honor the particular contributions African Americans have made to our uniquely American culture. We celebrate their achievements and recognize their central role in U.S. history.
Be they age seventy-five or ninety-five, residents at NewBridge on the Charles bring with them a lifetime of experiences upon moving into our independent living community in Dedham, Massachusetts. 97-year-old Irving Silverman is no exception.
As a young girl, Reana Allen enjoyed visiting our adult day health program, Great Days for Seniors, at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Reana would come with her aunt, Lorna White, an activity coordinator in the program. “I still remember those days and how much fun I had. It made me feel like I had a second family,” says Reana. “I was surrounded by lots of people. They were like my grandpa and grandma.”
In a Huffington Post article titled “Generational Warfare Is a Media Myth: Seniors and Kids Need Each Other,” from November 2014, a clear rationale for intergenerational programming is outlined. Children and adults thrive on face-to-face contact. In fact, it is suggested that there is an inclination for older adults to connect with and guide children, which likely results in increased happiness and positive emotional well-being, according to research by George Vaillant of Harvard Medical School.
“It’s one of the prize accomplishments that I have had, to be able to be attached to young people and to benefit from them and for them to benefit from me.” These are the words of Irving Silverman, a 96-year-old resident of NewBridge on the Charles, discussing his friendship with 16-year-old Mariah MacKenzie through the Adam and Matan Adelson Multigenerational Program at Hebrew SeniorLife.
Today Esther is a published author and poet as well as a scholar of Judaism and Hebrew teacher at Orchard Cove in Canton, MA. Her experiences living in the community have inspired her to become a prolific poet. She participates fully in community spiritual life and is an avid reader of history and biography. Her warmth, vitality and intelligence shine through with other residents.
Earlier this year Hebrew SeniorLife Communities sponsored the “Senior Living Communities of the Future Forum” at NewBridge on the Charles as an opportunity for our residents’ adult children to hear from experts in their fields on the future of senior living communities.
We sought insights to some of their most significant concerns as they relate to aging as well as important questions about their vision of the life they want to lead in later years.