If you’ve seen Levindale lately, you know that it’s undergone some amazing changes (a $31 million dollar expansion, to be exact). The most notable addition has been the construction of the Households. But some of the biggest, most lasting changes within these walls are happening on a more intimate level.
Every month, a special group of youngsters visit with residents. They share stories and a laugh (or two). There’s something for everyone: games like balloon and ring toss, bowling and catch; and arts and crafts, including painting a large-scale mural and performing in a music recital. There was even a taekwondo demonstration. This intergenerational program was started by Sandy Parsowith, a recreational therapist and Household 2 coordinator. She recommended that her daughter bring her two grandsons to Levindale. “The Households are such a cozy, home-like environment,” she says. “I thought it would be conducive to bringing the residents and children together.”
Sandy’s daughter, Rochel Lazar, is a part of a network of local parents who homeschool their children; when Rochel sent an email out asking if any other families were interested in coming to Levindale, she was overwhelmed with responses. The first group of kids came last November, and this meeting of the young and young-at-heart went so well that they reunited for the holidays, singing Chanukah songs, playing dreidel and making dreidel scratch art. They broke out the paints and warmed a cold January day with bright colors, and in February, they hosted a Purim party. Currently, there are about 13 families and 34 kids participating, and they’re getting ready for summer fun with their newfound friends.
“The residents and kids have really bonded,” Sandy says. “The children are so patient and compassionate, and the residents give them unconditional love and attention.”
- Laura Bogart
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