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Intergenerational communities

Health Factors: Family & Social Support
Decision Makers: Community Members Employers & Businesses Local Government Grantmakers Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Expert Opinion
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Intergenerational communities promote interaction and cooperation between individuals of different ages and focus on the needs of all residents, especially children and older adults. This place-based approach to community building focuses on a distinct geographic area, such as a neighborhood, town, or county. Intergenerational communities may include leadership opportunities for all ages, multi-generational programming, and housing, transportation, or workforce polices that address the needs of residents of all ages. 

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased social connectedness
Increased social cohesion
Increased civic participation
Improved health outcomes

Evidence of Effectiveness

Intergenerational communities are a suggested strategy to increase social connectedness (APA-Ghazaleh 2011, CDC-Aging 2014), social cohesion (Hinterlong 2006), and civic participation (Brown 2014b, AECF-Henkin 2005). Available evidence suggests that Communities for All Ages, a common approach to establishing intergenerational communities through diverse partnerships with local organizations, appears to have benefits for individuals in both urban and rural areas (CFAA-Henkin 2012, Brown 2014b). Increasing opportunities for civic participation and community engagement may improve physical and emotional health among older adults (Hinterlong 2006).

Separate funding streams supporting youth and older adult programming can be a challenge to planning and implementing intergenerational communities (CFAA-Henkin 2012).

Implementation

United States

As of 2013, the National Communities for All Ages Network included 23 local initiatives in eight states spanning urban and rural areas (Brown 2014b). Generations of Hope is another intergenerational community model, designed to support vulnerable families. Generations of Hope is in place in Portland, OR; Washington, DC; Tampa, FL; Rantoul, IL; and Easthampton, MA (Generations of Hope).

Generations United supports work towards intergenerational communities through its annual Best Intergenerational Communities Awards and other resources (GU).

Wisconsin

The Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition is a nonprofit organization in Plymouth, WI. This coalition led the development of Generations, an intergenerational facility that houses programming for residents of all ages and provides opportunities for community engagement. This facility was funded through a combination of local public and private funds (Generations). 

Implementation Resources

CFAA-Resource guide - Brown C, Henkin N. Intergenerational community building: Resource guide. Philadelphia: Communities for All Ages (CFAA), The Intergenerational Center, Temple University; 2012. Accessed on January 29, 2017
Generations of Hope - Generations of Hope. Intergenerational communities for care and support networks. Accessed on January 27, 2017
GU - Generations United (GU). Because we are stronger together. Accessed on January 27, 2017
IGC program tools - The Intergenerational Center (IGC), Temple University. Resources: Program tools. Accessed on January 29, 2017

Citations - Evidence

AECF-Henkin 2005 - Henkin NZ, Holmes A, Walter B, Greenberg BR, Schwarz BR. Communities for all ages: Planning across generations. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF); 2005. Accessed on January 31, 2017
APA-Ghazaleh 2011 - Ghazaleh A, Greenhouse E, Homsy G, Warner M. Multi-generational planning: using smart growth and universal design to link the needs to children and the aging population. Chicago: American Planning Association (APA); 2011. Accessed on January 31, 2017
Brown 2014b* - Brown C, Henkin N. Building communities for all ages: Lessons learned from an intergenerational community-building initiative. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 2014;24(1):63-68. Accessed on January 29, 2017
CDC-Aging 2014 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You're as young as you feel. 2014. Accessed on January 27, 2017
CFAA-Henkin 2012 - Henkin N, Brown C, Leiderman S. Intergenerational community building: Lessons learned. Philadelphia: Communities for All Ages (CFAA), The Intergenerational Center, Temple University; 2012. Accessed on January 29, 2017
Hinterlong 2006* - Hinterlong JE, Williamson A. The effects of civic engagement of current and future cohorts of older adults. Generations. 2006;30(4):10-17. Accessed on January 27, 2017

Citations - Implementation

Brown 2014b* - Brown C, Henkin N. Building communities for all ages: Lessons learned from an intergenerational community-building initiative. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 2014;24(1):63-68. Accessed on January 29, 2017
Generations - Generations: an intergenerational center. Accessed on January 27, 2017
Generations of Hope - Generations of Hope. Intergenerational communities for care and support networks. Accessed on January 27, 2017
GU - Generations United (GU). Because we are stronger together. Accessed on January 27, 2017

Page Last Updated

January 27, 2017

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