Seattle seniors' home brings young and old together

CBC's Ioanna Roumeliotis visits Mount St. Vincent, a Seattle seniors' home that doubles as a daycare. Here, the very young and the very old spend their days together and make profound connections.

Spending time with children every day improves the mental health of seniors, director says

A Seattle seniors home is bringing together the very young and the very old. Ioanna Roumeliotis goes inside 'The Mount'. 9:13

Providence Mount St. Vincent in Seattle is a seniors' home like no other.

About 400 seniors reside in the home, affectionally referred to as The Mount, and 125 children attend a daycare in the building.

Employees came up with the idea of creating joint activities for the seniors and the youngsters more than 20 years ago. Director Charlene Boyd took it a step further, making sure the the entire facility is licensed for child care, creating more opportunities for the residents and the children to interact throughout the day.

Residents of The Mount say spending time with the children is source of joy, and Boyd considers it an integral part of their care.

But it's also good for the kids, she says. 

"I think it's really important that these elders aren't out of sight, out of mind. All of us are aging and not all of us will age in these perfect ways," Boyd tells CBC's Ioanna Roumeliotis. "Just because I'm in a wheelchair or a walker, or just because I have dementia, doesn't mean that I'm not human anymore, and those children are learning humanness at a very young age."

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