Seniors and Kids

The combination of daycare and nursing home is growing in popularity



Mount Mary University, a small Catholic women’s college in Milwaukee, recently announced plans to build housing for both single mothers and retired nuns as a residential community. The project is a collaboration between the college, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and Milwaukee Catholic Home. Three buildings will contain 90 apartments for retired sisters and other senior citizens, 24 dorm rooms for enrolled single mothers, and 52 assisted-living units. All these will surround a “town center” that features a small clinic, dining services, a hair and nail salon, exercise facilities, and a chapel. The student dorm will offer on-site childcare with space for 120 children, as about 10 percent of students at the college are single mothers.

Much lip service is given to “change” in the Church, but this fresh idea of Mount Mary University and the School Sisters of Notre Dame deserves attention. It combines at least three worthy solutions to difficult problems: keeping single mothers both in school and near their children, giving retired sisters and seniors access to a vibrant community, and allowing for three generations to interact on a daily basis. Catholic institutions really should be at the forefront of combating the isolation and loneliness endemic to our individualistic culture, and this sort of project is a great example. Every U.S. city could use a place like this.

To read more, see the Catholic News Agency article:

The combination of daycare and nursing home is growing in popularity. On this topic reports that in Seattle, the Providence Mount St. Vincent, an elder adult living facility, shares space with Mount’s Intergenerational Learning Center, a licensed nonprofit childcare center and preschool. The elders and the preschoolers there “meet regularly.” If you’ve seen how a small child can light up a room-full of seniors, you’ll know how wonderful this is. also reports two facts that will sound strange to American ears: The Jenks elementary school in Oklahoma is housed in a large complex that includes a senior living facility, and seniors there have multiple opportunities to volunteer in classrooms; and, Swampscott, Massachusetts, boasts a high school and senior center in one structure, and both populations often engage in joint activities. Good for them.

A link to the Healthline article:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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