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In the Netherlands, the youth and the elderly usually don’t cross paths. These two worlds are just entirely different. But the Yalp Sona Interactive dance & play arch and Yalp Interactive Fono DJ-booth aim to bring these two generations together. Bernadette Michels, district manager and initiator of the square: “We want the youth from this neighborhood to be involved with our health facility.”
She goes on to say: “The younger generation hangs out in our indoor facility and we challenge them at our exciting outdoor facility. A positive result of this is that the youth feels socially involved in our care center and initiate conversations or walks with the seniors. The contact between both groups is improving, and the mutual understanding between these two generations enlarges significantly. Seeing teenagers at a residential care center does not surprise anybody anymore!”
"Not only can seniors meet other seniors, but the interactive playsets also provide an opportunity for them to socialize within different generations!"
Yalp Sona - Senior home Houthaghe
Yalp Sona - Senior home Houthaghe
Houthaghe aims to connect the younger and older generation with the Yalp Interactive playsets. For instance, both the Fono and the Sona are suitable for all ages. The facilities are not just aimed at the seniors and the youth, but also the residents of the Houthaghe neighborhood and the local daycare center. The municipality of Den Haag wanted to provide the community with an outdoor sports opportunity to stimulate an active lifestyle responsibly.
Bernadette Michels tells us about an exceptional experience at Houthaghe: “One of our residents has Parkinson-dementia. Although he has always maintained an active lifestyle, he is now in a wheelchair, and he has a hard time speaking clearly. However, as soon as he starts to work out on a cross-trainer, his speaking improves significantly, which has a very positive effect on the man himself and his caregiver since the man has a great sense of humor. It also provides our residents with an opportunity to socialize without making a major effort.”
“Besides the fact that our interactive square is easily accessible for people that want to be active and want to have fun outside, it is also a great meeting place for people that want to socialize and meet new people. Not only can seniors meet other seniors, but the interactive playsets also provide an opportunity to socialize within different generations! Therefore, the interactive playsets perfectly align the perspective of our government; to improve mutual understanding between generations and to increase social participation.”
"Besides the fact that our interactive square is easily accessible for people that want to be active and want to have fun outside, it is also a great meeting place for people that want to socialize and meet new people."
An extraordinary eye-catcher at the square is the Fono DJ-table. This concrete DJ-table challenges people to play music, to alter it with effects, and to share the results with their smartphone. The DJ-table is mainly aimed at triggering the younger generation to visit the square at Houthaghe. However, it also enables seniors to try DJ-ing for once! Bernadette Michels: “It would be great if the youth manages to meet the seniors in this way. Imagine modern music from famous DJs being mixed with classical music of Mozart! Many seniors who love music even own an Ipad and know how to work with the internet. So why not?
Sagar Koerban, a young-adolescent, is convinced that both young and old can learn from each other and that the interactive playsets can be a great solution. Koerban, raised in Houtwijk, noticed that many prejudices about the seniors exist within the youth. “Seniors were afraid of us when we were chilling and hanging out on the streets. They tried to avoid us, although we never did anything wrong. We felt very annoyed by that, so we thought it would be interesting to get in touch with the elderly. That allowed us to show them that we are just human, and they do not need to fear us when they go grocery shopping.”
Bernadette Michels entirely agrees with Sagar Koerban. “I would love for our seniors to be able to stay in touch with the world outside of our facility through the youth. At the same time, this would offer the youth the opportunity to get advice from people that have already gained so many different life experiences. I am thrilled that I can help to realize these goals. The interactive playsets trigger the youth to come to Houthaghe. It is only a small contribution, but it makes the world a little bit better.”
The seniors have become more tolerant of the youth, and they have realized that these young kids do not have bad intentions at all. At the same time, these kids allow seniors to stay in touch with the world outside the facility. I believe it is crucial to prevent assisted living homes from becoming isolated places full of people with grey hair. With the help of the youth, we can do this! Nothing but praise!
I cannot do anything but praise our collaboration with Yalp. The playsets at our square are all unique, inspiring and you can see that Yalp has really thought of everything. Furthermore, Yalp has offered excellent support during the entire process, from the moment of sale until the actual installment. I know that I can always call Yalp, and that they will handle every question or suggestion in a very positive manner, and make sure we find the best solution. Definitely a recommendation!
– Florance – health and care organization, The Netherlands
"The playsets at our square are all unique, inspiring, and you can see that Yalp has really thought of everything!"
Read more about interactive play in healthcare centers and the interactive playsets!
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