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What Do Grandparents Want? Legacy. How Do We Provide this in Independent Living and Assisted Living?

by admin on March 14th, 2011

Sure women age 55 and older are one of the fastest growing segments for Facebook, but why?   Primarily, Facebook is a great tool to stay connected with grandchildren.

Over the last several months, my own baby-boom mother commented that she really wants to leave a tangible lasting legacy for her children and grandchildren.  To this end, she enrolled in glass-art classes and produced several items she has provided as gifts that will indeed remind us of her for some time. 

Of course for me, I feel she has provided so many life lessons; created so many life experiences, and is part of so many memories that I wondered from where this desire to “leave a tangible legacy” sprouted?

No clear answer yet, but I know she is in good company.

Recently, I visited a very “high-end” 60 and better condominium structure.  There, the amenities included an indoor pool, a playground, pool table, and ping-pong table, but the amenity that received the most interest from grandchildren according to my tour guide was the arts studio where children’s art was showcased on one side while resident art was on the other. 

So what does the Independent Living and Assisted Living industry need to do to provide what our residents really want? 

  • Encourage residents that sing to generate a recorded music CD (done very inexpensively these days)
  • Sponsor an art show that showcases inter-generational art from residents and young family members
  • Engage residents that sew in an effort to create meaningful memory blankets to be donated as art to local government offices or not-for-profits
  • Create a cook book from the residents, employees, and families members
  • Publish a book of poems, short-stories, and alike created by the residents
  • Record the living history of residents (again, quite inexpensive to-do and may be able to get a local high school or college Intern to manage)
  • Become the hub of “community-based” art classes

Once you start on this art path, remember to post the pictures on Facebook and such for all to see!

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One Comment
  1. Legacy is such a strong motivator for older adults. I find it in my work too. But it can have different meanings and at different scales for certain people. I work with retirees who are concerned about the legacy they are leaving in the form of a clean and healthy world for their grandchildren. Tangible legacies, such as the artistic creations you describe, can help ensure an emotional connections, but intangible legacies are also important. They can provide ongoing security and health.

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