Would you try intergenerational living?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2030, one in every six people in the world will be aged 60 or over, meaning that the population aged 60 or over will rise from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion.

And by 2050, the global population aged 60 and over will reach 2.1 billion. The number of people aged 80 and over is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050, reaching 426 million. Life expectancy in good health is increasing very fast and the issue of home care for seniors is now becoming crucial. Intergenerational solidarity has emerged as an ideal solution. Several types of answers exist:

First, facilitate the settling of young people under 30 into senior’s homes who have a spare room in their main residence. A French company, Colette, has developed a solution for identifying the motivations and situations of the young candidates to form a pair who will get on well together and help each other out.

The construction of intergenerational residences is also an increasingly popular way of living together. These residences can be made up of one-third seniors, one-third families and one-third young professionals or students. In this way, retired people help with homework, while younger people or parents help the less able to run errands or get around. In the residences designed by the Eiffage Group, a “good living together” coordinator oversees ensuring that community life goes well during the first few months.

Intergenerational residences promote exchange of knowledge and life experiences. Older individuals can share their wisdom and experience with younger generations, while the younger ones can bring energy, perspectives, and practical assistance to the elderly. Moreover, these residences help fight against social isolation that can have detrimental effects on the physical, mental, and emotional health of individuals.

To effectively fight against the phenomenon of social isolation among the elderly, intra-generational solutions have also been developed. More and more companies are buying up large houses in city centers and transforming them to welcome a dozen of tenants who no longer want to live alone, preferring to grow old with friends. Optional services such as housekeeping, laundry and meal preparation can also be provided.

In view of the exponential increase in life expectancy, the consequent ageing of the population and the social and medical disasters that can result from social isolation, intergenerational living appears to be a relevant solution, both humanly and financially.

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