Finishing touches being put on new intergenerational center in Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE, Md. – Delmarva Community Services debuted their brand new inter-generational facility in Cambridge Tuesday. The facility is nearing completion, and is slated to be host to community members across Delmarva. “It’s just the ability for both populations, the seniors and the children, to grow together. That’s what we want to see happen. We want to see the seniors grow gracefully, but actually have activities going on and an active life,” said President and CEO Santo Grande.
The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Intergenerational Center will allow seniors and children to come together to play, eat, and learn from each other. It will also serve as a community center for all residents. The center is complete with a playground, plenty of room for exercise, a full service kitchen, a media room, a meditation room, and much more. “We want the seniors to have a place that really they can age into, and keep some youth and keep vitality, have exercise areas and interact with children on a day-to-day basis,” said Grande.
Senior Program Manager for Delmarva Community Services Mary Handley says they’ve already started trials for some of their activities, and to great success. One of the first pilot programs is an intergenerational walking club. “The children thought they were helping the seniors walk by holding their hand. But, the seniors thought they were helping the children walk. I heard the children at the daycare center getting ready to come over, and they said ‘Hurry up! We’ve got to go help the old ones!'” said Handley.
Plus, the center is expected to be host to 50 new, permanent jobs. Handley says that doesn’t just stop at food service workers and instructors for activities. “They will run the gamut, from professional jobs, as in social workers, directors of childcare programs, to maintenance, to CNA’s, to child kill service workers. We have venues here, a gift shop, salon, a masseuse,” said Handley.
All of that, is something that state officials say will hopefully not only serve as a beacon on the Eastern Shore, but as an example for the rest of the state of Maryland. “The opportunities for the state of Maryland are enormous. We have many, many very talented seniors who live in isolation. They need centers like this, where they can interact with young adults and younger kids, so that they share in the spirit and energy of the young people,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot.
The Comptroller says going forward, he has even bigger plans for centers like this one. “I’m promising the state of Maryland that we’re going to incentivize it. We’re going to partner with this project. We already have, as far as state capital dollars. But from an operating perspective, this is going to be a concept that is organized all around the state,” said Comptroller Franchot.
The center is set to officially open on October 2nd. But before then, Handley says they’re still looking for donations to put the finishing touches. Plus, she says anyone who wants to help out, or just check out the facility is welcome to reach out. For more information on how to contact Delmarva Community Services, and support them, click here.