What is "Intergenerational Care" and how is it bringing Milwaukee together?
We believe that not only do adults and elder adults have wisdom, but our children also have wisdom.
It was a Thursday morning and my intern, Amy, and I were walking into St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care. Upon entering the building off Morgan in the Bay View neighborhood, we immediately heard singing: it was a combination of older voices, strong and confident, amongst young children, babbling excitedly.
And seeing everyone sitting and singing together, well, it's quite a sight to see: there are babies in laps, toddlers are chatting with elderly couples, and wheelchairs are pulled up next to strollers.
And that's what makes St. Ann's so unique.
Providing "intergenerational care" means just what it sounds like: St. Ann's provides care to all generations in the same space.
"We believe that not only do adults and elder adults have wisdom, but our children have wisdom," says St. Ann's Tony Phillips.
"From the moment you open the door, you have this intergenerational experience... Generations United out of Washington D.C. found that children in an intergenerational facility are about 11 months ahead socially," adds President Sister Edna Lonagan.
And not only does interacting with an older generation positively affect young children, but also helps the older adults:
"We had a gentlemen that had seizures... one day we saw all his symptoms starting to develop and little Kathy, who was about three years old, climbed up on his lap and gave him a big hug and all his symptoms stopped."
And with Milwaukee just named one of the Best Cities in the Nation for Intergenerational Care, Tony and Sister Edna couldn't be more proud and excited for the future of St. Ann's,
"It's incredible that it shines a light on what is really working in Milwaukee. There are people who are coming together to strengthen this community."
To learn more about St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, visit their website at www.stanncenter.org and listen to the full story by clicking the podcast player above.