This report summarizes the workshop, Revitalizing Communities for All Generations: Visioning a Livable Wichita Region, held by the Aging in Place Initiative in Wichita, Kanas in 2009. This particular workshop focused on how to enhance the intergenerational experiences available to older adults and leverage them to strengthen the community as a whole. The event served as a forum for national and local experts to highlight the invaluable role that intergenerational experiences can have for communities anywhere. The report includes 15 different examples of programs that create more intergenerational engagement.
The eleventh in the Aging in Place Initiative series, this report sets for three over-arching strategies for local communities to pursue to enhance intergenerational engagement:
- Neighborhood Planning – look for ways to improve existing neighborhoods, especially by providing private intergenerational transportation options. Zoning laws should also be addressed to ensure they encourage intergenerational engagement.
- Community Housing – address visitability and access, enabling seniors to stay in their homes.
- Dedicated Intergenerational Activities – intentional programs designed to mix the generations are needed.
The report shares three examples of successful efforts in Wichita – Old Town Wichita is a walkable, mixed use neighborhood; Foster Grandparent Program is a three decade old successful placement service matching seniors with time and skills to organizations in need of leaders for children; and Visioneering Wichita, a program with over 15,000 citizens engaged in improving the quality of life for all generations in Wichita.
Lastly, the report shares 11 additional national examples (page 20) of intergenerational programs that are working.
How to Use
Community leaders and local government officials should turn to this report for examples of programs in place that foster intergenerational engagement. The benefits to the participants and the overall community are dramatic. The specific examples given are all ones that can be easily modified and used in other communities across the U.S.