| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

New Intergenerational Care Center offers new kind of care for ‘the oldest and youngest among us’


Announcing its grand opening at the end of last month, Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s new Intergenerational Care Center hopes to offer a creative solution to quality care for both ends of the age demographic spectrum in Grand Rapids’ Heartside.

 

BLC Pastor Jay Schrimpf says that the new Intergenerational Care Center was born out of the desire to build on the church’s existing record of community care and education with its Hill Child Development Center, which was founded back in 1971 and now operates alongside the church’s Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project at 250 Commerce Ave.

 

“We decided to build on more than four decades of skills at our HCDC to care for folks on the other side of the spectrum as well,” says Schrimpf. “There’s an aging senior population needing help on a regular basis, and we can do it in a groundbreaking way—at least for this area—through cross-programming between the two.”

 

Schrimpf says a new entity all its own, the BIC now allows the congregation to “care for the youngest and the oldest among us.”

 

After receiving a $50,000 grant from the Downtown Development Authority to rework its second floor space to create a fully ADA compliant senior wing in addition to its existing HCDC, BLC created new programming that allows the two populations to spend time relationship building together in shared spaces.

 

With hours that run 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, both the child and senior care nclude meals and snacks prepared in-house, with a whole host of intergenerational activities that include everything from sharing meals and making music together to giving the elders a chance to take care of the babies and share stories with the little ones.

 

“Especially for our elderly population, it gives them a purpose and the ability to teach and have real relationships and for the children, it’s really the same,” says Sue Davidson, director of the new BIC. “They get to be taught, they get to have real relationships with people who have something to offer. We believe that everyone has skills and talents and gifts and to share them with each other.”

 

To learn more about the new Bethlehem Intergenerational Center or Hill Child Development Center, visit Bethlehem Church online.

 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
 

Images courtesy of Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts