Integration could allow for simultaneous healthcare provision, greater cross-generational interaction and two way benefits for both the elderly and children.
Often, elderly care facilities and child care centers are mutually exclusive, resulting in little interaction between the 2 generations housed in these different facilities. Grandparents who stay at home to care for grandchildren, on the other hand, are faced with little time to mingle with their peers. Their children are also posed a hard choice with their limited time, of either visiting their parents in elderly day care centers, or their own children in child care centers during limited times like lunchtimes.
Integrating elderly day-care centers with baby care centers could solve all the above mentioned problems: grandparents stay with their grandchildren and other children; they could form community interest groups and meaningful relationships with their peers in these centers; working adults could visit and fetch their parents and own children at the same time since they are housed in the same center. In addition, operational costs are lowered since less staff are needed to care for the babies who are cared for by grandparents while medical personnel stationed could cater to both the children and the elderly. But of course, seniors without grandchildren staying in the facility(and vice versa) are welcome too. The facility could be designed such that the elderly and children have separate buildings for their own activities and rest when needed, but a big central space joining the two buildings could be used for interaction and mutual care.
In the facilities, the elderly could also take up courses on early childhood psychology to get themselves accredited and skilled in interacting better with the children. The accreditation would also provide parents with more trust and ease with putting their child at these facilities. Also, the accreditation could be in various levels, to cater to the different willingness and ability of the elderly to commit to the courses.
As for the profile of the seniors housed in the day care centers, fit and healthy seniors would be preferred over those with serious medical conditions, so as to allow for easier interaction with the children. Seniors with illnesses also often have weaker immune systems and are thus more susceptible to diseases which might spread in such a facility where medical care is not the main priority. It would be perfect if a few retired teachers could be within the mix of seniors in the facility, such that they could share their experiences in developing children with the others.
If possible, seniors who choose to take up responsibilities and specific roles in the care for the children could enjoy significant rebates in their cost of being housed in the facility too.