Benefits of intergenerational relationships

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KUCHING: Intergenerational relationships are important as younger and older generations can mutually benefit from each other. 

Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said in a family, the younger, middle, and older generations developed ways to support one another in the later years.

“In fact, as the generation ages, the intergenerational connections become more important. For instance, seniors have lived lives full of all kinds of experiences and can offer a wealth of knowledge and support their grown children and grandchildren.

“Meanwhile, adult children often help their parents when they become less mobile due to health problems while supporting their own younger children.”

She said this during a webinar titled ‘Exploring the Unity in Sarawak through Intergenerational Understanding’ organised by Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak (YPS) via Zoom and Facebook Live on Thursday (Sept 9).

She said it was always a welcome sight when the youngest generation provided affection and joy to the older generation and also assisted with tasks involving modern technology.

“It is easy to see how these intergenerational relationships present a cyclical pattern of love, care, and support among each member of the family.

“Children and teens see enhanced social skills and more stability in their daily lives, which can help them do well in school and steer clear of negative influences. Likewise, seniors who are close to their children and grandchildren are often healthier and more involved in the world around them.”

Fatimah pointed out that the same benefits applied to generations which are unrelated as well.

She said growing intergenerational friendships with others can offer a unique perspective on life, as the older generations helped the younger ones learn what to expect in their futures and offered advice to ensure they are living their best lives.  

“In turn, a younger person can help someone older be a little more adventurous, getting them out of their daily routines. Both parties can benefit from these different perspectives and approaches to life.”

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