Playgrounds for senior citizens? Genius idea.
Senior citizens like to have fun, too.
Playgrounds can be a lot of fun.
Kids love them. Parents are into them because physical activity is good for kids. (And let's be honest: It's also because we know they'll sleep well later.)
But you know who else playgrounds are good for? Senior citizens!
Yep, that's right. Playground equipment isn't just for little ones.
Seniors enjoy doing more than sitting idly, reading a book, and gazing at the young whippersnappers swinging, sliding, and generally having a good time. They like to play, too!
In Spain, where the population is aging, senior-citizen playgrounds have been popping up for a while.
Not only do they provide a place for folks to enjoy physical activity, they also offer an opportunity for socializing.
"It is very social," says Paz Vidal, a physical therapist. "[We] want to break the myth of the old person coming to the park and just sitting while grandkids play. And then going home. Kids can also have fun here. The parks help create family cohesion. And it's intergenerational."
The playgrounds in Spain sure seem to be serving their purpose.
"I am not someone to stay home. I get out a lot," said Franchesca, an 84-year-old in Spain who, in addition to enjoying being active, hasn't lost her sense of humor. "Because if you stay home, you spend all your time criticizing your kids, eh?"
And it's not just happening in Spain. It's starting to catch on in the U.S., too!
The nonprofit KaBOOM!, which generally builds kids' playgrounds, partnered up with Humana to build intergenerational playgrounds around the United States. So far, they've built over 50. These playgrounds are created with people of all ages in mind.
"Play is a great connector for adults and seniors and the children in their lives. In addition to the cognitive and physical benefits of play, it can also reduce stress in adults and is proven to help combat toxic stress in kids," Sarah Pinsky, director of client services for KaBOOM!, told Huffington Post.
I mean, just watch these folks enjoying themselves. Who wouldn't want to have fun like that at any age?