Intergenerational work has the potential to bring ages, races and cultures together to support policies and practices that help all individuals become productive citizens who use their skills and talents to contribute to the communities in which they live. It can promote values that foster a sense of interdependence, promote lifelong contribution, and increase a recognition of shared fate. Although the number and range of activities is growing, there still is a gap between the promise and the practice of intergenerational work. This article seeks to describe the history of intergenerational practice in the United States, to give examples of successful programs and initiatives, benefits and challenges, and opportunities for further growth.
The review is based on the authors' combined 50 years of intergenerational practice.
Intergenerational partnerships, programs and policies that promote reciprocity and interdependence are critical to the well‐being of the nation and the world. The United States has made great strides in bringing generations together to improve the quality of life for all. Much still needs to be done, however, to make this approach “business as usual” and to ensure that people of all ages work together for the common good – particularly in these challenging times.
The article gives an insight into the successes of intergenerational practice in the United States, based on the authors' work in this area.
Henkin, N.Z. and Butts, D.M. (2012), "Intergenerational practice in the United States: past, present and future", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 249-256. https://doi.org/10.1108/14717791211286913Download as .RIS
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