Senior citizens across the globe are taking a cue from kids at play, by hitting their local playgrounds. Inspired by public playgrounds for kids, the nonprofit KaBOOM! has created a new kind of park that encourages the elderly to exercise and socialize with children. In a partnership with Humana, the inter-generational playgrounds could be coming to a park near you.
Playgrounds for senior citizens have already become a hit across Europe and Asia, inviting seniors to get outside and into the sun. Rather than monkey bars and slides, the parks are packed with low impact exercise equipment. Outdoor elliptical machines, exercise bikes, and stationary equipment for stretching and balance invite senior citizens to work out at their own pace.
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For the United States, KaBOOM! and Humana have planned a system of playgrounds not just for senior citizens, but for multi-generations to enjoy all together. Many existing playgrounds cater to children, with only benches or walking paths for adults. These multi-generational playgrounds include equipment for people of all ages, including traditional playground slides, swings and monkey bars, as well as exercise equipment for adults. Aside from encouraging exercise, the playgrounds, geared toward kids and adults, will bring varying ages together for socializing, exercise, and fun.
Thus far, 53 multi-generational playgrounds have popped up across the country, delighting 135,471 kids and 61,500 seniors. Through the love of play and exercise, the children and seniors mix together, also forming social bonds that beat stress, anxiety and loneliness.
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