Research shows that what older residents of a community need to age in place is what everyone else wants in their community. It isn’t only people who are 60 and older who need social and recreational opportunities, who want safe and affordable transportation or a variety of housing options. We all want opportunities to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities through paid work and volunteer opportunities. Part of living in a community is age-integration. People of all ages make your community a great place to grow up and to grow old.

One of the many advantages of an aging population is that older people are available to volunteer at schools, libraries, parks and recreations departments. Older residents of your community are probably already an essential part of childcare and the provision of child-oriented programs, civic engagement, community economic development and family financial health.

Intergenerational relationships help us feel connected to each other and to the natural flow of life. Many older adults find fulfillment in sharing what they have learned with the younger people in the community. When older people share their life experience with younger people and young people share their enthusiasm and energy, all generations win. Children understand the world in a different way; older adults have a sense of purpose.

These are a few examples of intergenerational planning and programming from across northern New England.