GrandFriends Program

The Arbors GrandFriends Program is an intergenerational program between Arbors residents and young children in the community.  Local schools, youth groups, scout groups, temples and churches are some of the participating members of our GrandFriends Program. This inspiring program is designed to provide meaningful engagement with our seniors and children. Programs are geared towards bridging the gap between the two generations.

Our GrandFriends program provides an avenue where both seniors and children can impact each other’s life in a very powerful way.  Both generations benefit by connecting and fostering a healthy view on life by appreciating each other. The children can grow from the wisdom and experience of our seniors. Spending time with the seniors helps children especially with their communication skills as well as having a role model to learn from. Similarly, the children are able to light up our seniors in an inspirational way. 

The seniors and children come together to join in many different activities; crafts, reading, art, music and so much more. We have started a “Kindness Rocks” movement with the Connetquot Schools, and the local community. We are spreading kindness like confetti by painting inspirational kind messages on rocks and leaving them for someone to find, to brighten their day!

There have been studies that show there are real health benefits from seniors spending time with young children, showing cognitive and memory improvements.  Below is a list of the benefits the GrandFriends Program has on the children as well as the seniors

Benefit for children

  • Increased self-esteem and self-worth
  • Improved behavior
  • Increased involvement in schoolwork
  • Improved reading scores
  • Appreciation for older people
  • Enhanced sense of belonging in their communities

Benefits for older adults

  • Improved health, and fewer falls among older adults 
  • More positive effect among older adults with dementia
  • Increased connectedness and less isolation
  • Enhanced feelings of self-worth
  • Learn about new technology and innovations


Students from the Forest Brook Elementary School invited their Grandfriends from The Arbors Assisted Living at Islandia East to join them for an afternoon of games and snacks.  It was hard to tell who had a better time…. the students or the Seniors, so it was decided, that they must get together once a month and plans were made for April.