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Intergenerational playgroup connects kids and seniors with dementia

(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 6, 2017 at 8:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of new cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is expected to soar. Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s dementia every 66 seconds.

Heritage Senior Living is teaming up with parents for an intergenerational play group, they say is benefiting both parties.

“You can just see the eyes light up, it gives them a sense of purpose. It brings them back to the time they were moms and dads and grandparents,” said Dementia Training Specialist Jan Zimmerman. “One of the things with dementia is, as the brain starts to fail, it becomes harder to connect so they start to isolate and its hard seeing that person you know slowly starting to fade away. Kids don’t care. They just want to be with you where you are in that moment. They don’t care if you don’t say the right words.”

And Olivia Genin said she sees the benefit for her kids, too.

“I love the idea of them being able to have the older generation around them and I feel like they can teach them way more than I can.”

This isn’t a new idea. Annie Tereba helped get this group organized and said it is a memory she holds close.

“I had an intergenerational group that I was affiliated with as a child,” said Tereba. “A lot of older people kinda resort back to childhood and a lot of younger people are right there so they can communicate so well.”

The intergenerational playgroup is organized by

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Copyright 2017: WMTV

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