Intergenerational bonds forged as a result of leisure-time activities help seniors to maintain a positive outlook on life. The adage that “A family that plays together stays together” has been confirmed by researchers from Concordia University (Canada).
Enrolling 14 intergenerational families— composed of 16 retired or semiretired grandparents, ages 65 to 89 years, along with their respective grandchildren, ages 18 to 24 years, Shannon Hebblethwaite and colleagues observed that leisure-time activities, such as cooking, shopping, and gardening help grandparents to maintain close ties with their grandchildren. Grandparents utilized such get-togethers as opportunities to teach, mentor and pass on family values and traditions; and reciprocally, seniors found the activities catalyzed their own new discoveries. The researchers conclude that: “The findings illustrate the important role that family leisure played in the experience and expression of generativity,” thereby confirming previous research that found healthy intergenerational connections help grandparents age better and feel more positively about life.
[Shannon Hebblethwaite, Joan Norris. “Expressions of Generativity Through Family Leisure: Experiences of Grandparents and Adult Grandchildren Family Relations.” Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, Volume 60, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages: 121–33.]