Housing Opportunity 2014 - Intergenerational Living: Housing and Communities for All Ages, Janice Blanchard
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Housing Opportunity 2014 - Intergenerational Living: Housing and Communities for All Ages, Janice Blanchard



Janice Blanchard, Aging Better Together

Janice Blanchard, Aging Better Together



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  • There is an increasing amount of evidence, in fact, that inter-generational relationships – specifically the relationships between, mother daughter and grandchildren, that has contributed to the longevity of the human species. In the animal world, females often don’t live much past their reproductive years. But among humans, women live into their 80s and beyond. The basic idea is that an end to a woman’s reproductive years allows her to channel her energy and resources into caring for her children and grandchildren, thereby providing her descendants with a survival advantage. The ‘grandmother hypothesis’ says that when grandmothers help feed their grandchildren after weaning, their daughters can produce more children at shorter intervals; the children become younger at weaning but older when they first can feed themselves and when they reach adulthood; and women end up with postmenopausal lifespans just like ours. By allowing their daughters to have more children, a few ancestral females who lived long enough to become grandmothers passed their longevity genes to more descendants, who had longer adult lifespans as a result. Grandmothering gave us the kind of upbringing that made us more dependent on each other socially and prone to engage each other’s attention <br />
  • Grand parents continue to be a major source of support to children in grandchildren. Overall in society, however, relationships between all the generations have become increasingly strained in response to myriad factors such as ageism, competition for limited community resources and time and distance from each other. The time is greater than ever to bolster relationships between our elders, our adults and our children. Around the world, we are undergoing a demographic transition that the world has never seen before. Over the next couple years, the population will begin to tip to where we will have more adults 65 and older than under the age of 5. By 2050, there will be more older adults than children under the age of 15. The number of people worldwide today aged 60 and over has doubled since 1980. In the United States, there are over 40 million Americans 65 and older --- by 2030, there will be over 72 million, more than twice the number in 2000, 1 in 5 Americans. Growing at an even faster rate, are those over the age of 85, which the US Census projects will grow from 5.5 million in 2010 to 19 million in 2050. Yet today <br /> Whether this demographic shift will be a silver tsunami or a golden wave of opportunity rests with how we rise to the challenges that these demographic changes are bringing. <br />
  • In 2005, I began working with Bill Thomas, a geriatrician and visonary founder of the Eden Alternative and the Greenhouse, two projects that seek to re-envision the place and purpose of long term care. We came to the conclusion through our research that everything we fear most about nursing homes we have come to believe we can retain if we remain in our own homes. The power that animates aging in place is its implied promise of freedom from what we fear most. Rather than loosing our independence, we remain masters of our own domain. Instead of being cared for by strangers, we are cared for by our beloved families or at least a trusted caregiver. Rather than being shut away in an institution, we can stay safe, secure and comfortable in our own homes. In all ways, we have come to believe, home is best. Indeed, national studies by AARP and others have consistently showed the overwhelming majority want and intend to age in place, even if they need help caring for themselves. The bitter truth is, that one can remain in their own home and still experience a life as empty and difficult as that expereinced by nursing home residents. Because it is fixiated on the location – one’s private home – it pays little attention to the factors that make up quality of life. <br />
  • Our culture has created a contiuum that positions institutionalized LTC on one end of the spectrum, and an idealized version of aging in place at the other. The challenge is to face this false choice. An increasing number of Americans are searching for, and finding, a third way – that we call “Aging in Community.” <br />
  • Aging in community began as a grassroots movement of like-minded people coming together to intentionally create systems of mutual support and caring to enhance their well being, improve their quality of life and to maximize their ability to remain in their homes and communities as they age. <br />
  • In some cases, these groups have built new homes and communities to live in, and in other cases they have created networks and retrofitted the environments in which they are currently living. <br />
  • Pocket Neighborhoods grew out of the work of Ross Chapin and his colleagues, but the idea is beyond any one person or style. It is pattern of housing that fosters a strong sense of community among nearby neighbors, while preserving their need for privacy. Examples can be found across the spectrum, from small towns, to suburbs to urban areas. <br />
  • http://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-05-2013/older-women-roommates-house-sharing.html <br />
  • Social software or Social Architecture <br /> a neighborhood is just another apartment complex or an assisted living home is just another medical model of providing long term care. What we can the “Social Software” <br />
  • Youth Farmers&apos; Market, The Heather Regan Memorial Community Garden at Bradley International School also has several other wonderful programs for students, such as Garden Club, an after school program for fourth and fifth graders that is available at no cost, and the Annual Spring Plant Sale, where all the plants sold have been started from seed by students at Bradley. There is also a plot dedicated to the School Garden to Zoo pilot program, which is maintained by third graders at Bradley for the Denver Zoo, who then get a behind the scenes tour of the Denver Zoo Commissary on an annual field trip.   <br />
  • Circle of Care is an Elder Enrichment Program serving Boulder County Senior Citizens. As a nonprofit organization, COC is dedicated to providing accessibility to the arts, education and social/civic opportunities for isolated homebound elders, caregivers, senior facility residents and older adults with physical, cognitive and financial challenges. <br />
  • Signature program is Access to the Arts For Elders: Circle of Care provides complimentary transportation, companions and tickets to the finest cultural events in our community. This includes the Colorado Music Festival, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, CU Concerts, Theater and Opera and many more. We access over $650,000 of in-kind ticket donations per year and pass this high caliber of cultural enrichment on to Boulder County Senior Citizens. We provide companions and transportation to all events at no cost. We impact over 500 senior citizens each a month. We partner with over 20 nonprofit cultural, educational and transportation organizations and serve numerous county social service and aging service organizations.(Visit our partner websites.) <br />
  • Another program, Senior Audit Partners, was borne from a commitment to making lifelong learning accessible to all older adults interested in an <br /> intergenerational academic experience. The University of Colorado became the first partner, and while it already offered seniors the privilege of auditing classes, barriers prevented many older adults from participating. Volunteers soon became “study buddies,” helping older adults manage their books and class registration, and in exchange received free enrollment to audit college courses. Today, Senior Audit Partners continues to grow <br />

Housing Opportunity 2014 - Intergenerational Living: Housing and Communities for All Ages, Janice Blanchard Housing Opportunity 2014 - Intergenerational Living: Housing and Communities for All Ages, Janice Blanchard Presentation Transcript

  • Connecting Generations Janice Blanchard, MSPH President Denver, CO
  • The Grandmother Hypothesis
  • “Somehow we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, a knowledge of the past and a sense of the future.” -Margaret Mead
  • Aging in Place Nursing Home Loneliness Helplessness Boredom Success Failure
  • Possibilities in Between… ??? ?? Aging in Place Nursing Home
  • • Interdependent • Mutual support • Engaged/needed • Inclusive • Intergenerational • Affordable • Sustainable/Green • Health/Wellness • Meaning/Purpose • Universally Designed Aging in Place Nursing Home …. Aging in Community Source: Thomas, Blanchard & Stambolian, 2006.
  • Aging in Community • INCLUSIVE – welcoming to all, especially elders; fostering relationships between people of all ages, ethnicities and abilities • SUSTAINABLE – committed to a lifestyle that is sustainable ecologically, economically, and socially • WELLNESS-ORIENTED – encouraging wellness of the mind, body and spirit • ACCESSIBLE – providing easy access to the home and community (e.g. universal design features) • INTERDEPENDENT – fostering reciprocity & mutual support between family, friends, neighbors and the community • ENGAGED – promoting opportunities for civic and social engagement, education, and creative expression . Source: Thomas, Blanchard & Stambolian, 2006.
  • AIC “Physical Environments” • Create new range of housing/communities – cohousing, shared housing, multigenerational, accessory dwelling units, Green Houses™, affinity-based housing (art, music, LGBT), pocket neighborhoods • Retrofit existing housing communities – redesigning community centers, common space, pathways and streets, community gardens • Retrofit larger community – accessible spaces & places (to exceed ADA), transportation options, mixed-use communities
  • Wild Sage & Silversage Cohousing Communities Boulder, CO
  • Pocket Neighborhoods, Whidbey Island, WA
  • Shared Housing Across America
  • Burbank Seniors Artist Colony Burbank, CA
  • Rainbow Vision Community, Santa Fe, NM
  • Hope Meadows Rantoul, IL
  • Aria West Denver, CO
  • AIC “Social Software” • Facilitate activities or practices that increase interaction, understanding, cooperation and social exchange between neighbors. • Create opportunities to share skills, knowledge, and/or experience. • Foster relationships and that benefit neighbors and/or the community. • Design to build on the strengths and addresses the needs of the community • Employ resident support first • Promote health and wellness activities • Promote social, cultural, educational & creative engagement • Promote larger community service programs • Support services and goods that offer non-monetary exchanges (e.g., time- bank economies) • Incorporate current public property – schools, libraries, parks, community centers, etc. to expand opportunities and reach out to the larger community
  • Four Types of Intergenerational Social Software 1. Older Adults Serving Youth 2. Youth Serving Older Adults 3. Youth & Older Adults Serving Together 4. Shared Site Intergenerational Programs
  • Older Adults Serving Youth: Heather Regan Memorial Community Garden at Bradley International School Denver, CO
  • Older Adults Serving Youth: Community Garden Bradley International School Learning Landscape for Classroom Use
  • Older Adults Serving Youth: Community Garden Bradley International School After School Garden Club
  • Older Adults Serving Youth: Community Garden Bradley International School Cooking Classes & Youth Farmers Market
  • Youth Serving Older Adults: The Circle of Care Project Boulder, CO
  • Youth Serving Older Adults: The Circle of Care Project Access to the Arts for Elders
  • Youth Serving Older Adults: The Circle of Care Project Senior Audit Partners
  • Youth & Older Adults Serving Together The Circle of Care Project Intergenerational Voices Open Mic
  • Youth & Older Adults Serving Together A Little Help Denver, CO
  • It takes a village to raise our children… It takes a community to care for our elders.
  • Thank-you! Janice Blanchard, MSPH President, Aging Better Together Centennial, CO janicecsa@comcast.net www.agingbettertogether.com