Although most older adults prefer to age in place, many move into independent senior communities for a variety of reasons, ranging from health to financial and social concerns. Research suggests that when individuals transition into senior housing, many find it difficult to establish new social connections and/or become integrated into the broader community. These barriers can result in a sense of being “left behind,” and can affect an older adult’s quality of life.
But independent living environments vary widely, and are rarely regulated or standardized!
Due to these factors, it is increasingly important for senior housing providers to offer residents a range of support services and to develop opportunities for residents to engage with and contribute to their communities. In addition to promoting general volunteerism and connecting residents with lifelong learning programs, there is a growing interest among housing providers in intergenerational programming.
Senior housing can offer an ideal platform for high-quality intergenerational work, given the nature of housing to provide economies of scale that help to ensure sustainability. Developing long-term partnerships with local educational institutions and youth-serving agencies can help expand the social networks of older adults, create meaningful civic engagement opportunities, and build social capital within the broader community.
At a Glimpse
Project ByYannick Nüdling
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- Loneliness in Seniors
- Loneliness in Young Man
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