10 Year Old Discovers Answer to Loneliness
She founded the organization, Kids4Seniors, when she was just 10 years old. Now at 12, Giavonna Antonucci is making a difference in the lives of seniors.
Kids4Seniors is a 501c3 nonprofit that is focused on intergenerational programs that not only benefits the seniors, but also teaches the kids, kindness, compassion, empathy, and the benefits of giving back.
Gia spent her summers volunteering in senior communities and was moved by what she encountered; many of them “looked so sad.” She would often go with her mom, who is a Dementia Care Specialist; to work and was impacted by the seniors who were so lonely.
Loneliness is a big problem at any age, but for the senior community, it can have dire consequences. Consider that more than 40 percent of seniors experience loneliness on a regular basis, according to a recent University of California, San Francisco study.
A recent study in Health Psychology showed people who were lonely complained of 38.5 percent more severe symptoms than those who were less lonely.
Research shows that a lack of social connection and the feeling of loneliness and isolation is as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is also a risk factor for cognitive decline, the potential progression of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and obesity. It’s even a factor for something as simple as the common cold, reports The Washington Post.
Kids4Seniors is creating programs like their annual walker and wheelchair wash, which was just held at Brookdale Senior Living in Lake Worth. They have partnered with The Neil Hirsch Boys & Girls Club in Wellington, FL and have had over 50 kids make multiple visits to Senior Living Communities.
Gia is the recipient of Disney’s “Kids For Change” grant and received $500 from YSA in which she bought t-shirts for the kids and provided some amazing programs like the Intergenerational Space Theme Game Day, Puzzle tournaments, and much more.
The Next Leap Forward
A remarkable vision at any age, but at 10, you have to ask yourself, how does a ten-year-old acquire such a dream at this early juncture?
Kids learn early and they learn often. Their manners, their habits, their willingness to do good and see the positive in others is a journey that starts around two. So by ten, most of these tendencies are built in. By 15, or 20, you’re probably not going to change the characteristics of the person.
Excellent advice in Parenting to share with you, 5 Values You Should Teach Your Child by Age Five.
Value #1: Honesty – Help Kids Find a Way To Tell the Truth
Value #2: Justice – Insist That Children Make Amends
Value #3: Determination – Encourage Them To Take on a Challenge
Value #4: Consideration – Teach Them To Think about Others’ Feelings
Value #5: Love – Be Generous with Your Affection
You see a problem, you create a solution, that is the sign of a Brink Thinker. Gia’s goal is to make Kids4Seniors a National Program, with a mission to create Intergenerational Programs in hopes of reducing senior loneliness. I hope you’ll consider assisting her with her leap forward…