A Preschool Inside a Nursing Home? An Idea Crazy Enough to Work!

posted: 06/22/15
by: TLCme
present perfect movie nursing home preschool

What would happen if you put the very young and the very old together? How would both populations benefit, and what would they learn from each other? Present Perfect, a new documentary from filmmaker Evan Briggs, chronicles the lives of the residents and students at the Intergenerational Learning Center, a nursing home/nursery school at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle, Washington. The program's aim? To enrich the lives of both the young and old by teaching kids about the aging process; encouraging them to accept disabilities; and teaching them to reduce their fear and increase their acceptance of older adults.

According to a study from Dr. David Lipschitz, "children involved in intergenerational relationships see enhanced social skills, better academic performance, less risk of using drugs and an enhanced sense of stability. And the benefit to the elderly is clear, too. So many seniors are isolated and segregated away from society as they age. And as the film notes, social isolation is closely linked to depression and loneliness. The ILC helps to counter that by allowing its older residents to the opportunity to share knowledge and experience, and serve as role models. The result? Lives are transformed on both ends.

The documentary is currently in the Kickstarter phase of development: The filmmakers have all the raw footage shot, and are raising funds for post-production. The trailer provides a pretty moving case for the program. Just try to get through it without tearing up.