Old & Young Together: Intergenerational Living

Recently, I’ve posted about certain topics I feel we need to talk about, specifically aging and death. Lest you feel I focus too much on such “morbid” topics, here are several links on a related topic that holds out hope — maybe even some answers to our many questions about how to handle aging and death.
Let’s talk about intergenerational living.

Old & Young Together — Seattle

Providence St. Vincent Care Center in Seattle opened their Intergenerational Learning Center over 24 years ago. By putting nursery age toddlers into their elder care unit 5 days a week, they are providing valuable life experiences for young & old alike.


This article explains a little about how this magic works:

…the Intergenerational Learning Center, a community daycare program with a mission to teach children about aging, show them what it’s like to live with disabilities, and give them opportunities to “receive and give unconditional and unbounded love.” Each visit from the children is a highlight of the day for many of the Mount’s residents. It’s also a carefully considered part of their care.

More Old & Young — United Kingdom

Based on the success of Seattle’s Intergnerational Learning Center, researchers in the U.K. conducted a 6-week experiment about intergenerational living, sharing their results:


Middle School Matching — Denver

Taking the intergenerational experience into a different setting, one Denver program pairs 7th grade students with Alzheimer’s patients:

In England, hundreds of schools are termed “dementia-friendly.” Those schools give students a deeper understanding about dementia, and provide interaction between students and people with dementia. There are even teaching resources for schools to teach specifically about dementia.

Going Dutch: College Rent-Swap for Elder Care

Taking the concept of intergenerational living to another level, Dutch college students can swap elder care and companionship for rent:


This article about the Humanitas intergenerational housing in a Dutch retirement home introduces us to a college student’s 93-year-old flat-mate.

Amsterdam was short of 9,000 student rooms in 2014 alone, while two years earlier, the Dutch government cut care funding for people over 80. Those two shortages prompted Humanitas to come up with this cheap way of providing better care, and company, for their residents.

The Hive: 4-generational living

Finally, one specialist in these issues found herself choosing to design her house to hold four generations of her family, dubbing it the Hive.

Since August 2014, Cini and her family have been living together in a home where the four generations not only survive, but thrive. The founder and CEO of Mosaic Design Studio, Cini is a noted expert on dementia and Alzheimer’s design for senior living residences. Having worked in the field for more than 25 years, she brought her professional expertise to the family renovation project.

In the end, we must learn to rely on each other. We are our own best renewable resource, if we nurture young & old alike.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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