Older adult woman exchanges laugh with middle school child in classroom.

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All In Together: Creating Places Where Young And Old Thrive
All In Together: Creating Places Where Young And Old Thrive

Generations United © 2018

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While far from a household name, shared sites may well be a concept whose time is now. There’s a convergence of opportunity at hand, brought about by a variety of factors including the demand for quality children and youth services, the need for creative older adult programs and limited local, state and national resources for construction and rehabilitation of facilities.

The use of space by multiple generations makes common sense. Demographics are also fueling innovation. Americans
are living longer and healthier lives. The growing asset of older adults needs to be engaged and shared sites are a smart and innovative way to do that. 

Additionally, a growing body of new research illustrates just how damaging isolation and loneliness can be. The signs point to shared sites as an approach primed to remedy this concern. Greater awareness of the potential of shared sites can create new environments to confront ageism, break down the barriers of age-segregation and forge long-lasting
and life-changing intergenerational bonds.

Among the report's recommendations:

  • Challenge local leaders to be champions and prioritize intergenerational use of built and outdoor space
  • Work with accrediting bodies and develop new intergenerational friendly standards
  • Review and recommend policy and other changes that can clear the way to establishing more shared sites
  • Initiate a local, state and/or national intergenerational shared site learning collaborative
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