Bridging Intergenerational Gaps

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

There is a growing movement in the United States and around the world to make neighborhoods, cities, and communities better for the increasingly aging population. Whether these initiatives are called livable communities, age-friendly cities, or aging-in-place, this important work is opening the door to explore how including people of all ages, specifically young people, can net greater returns.

This page will serve as a repository for education, resources and tools to assist in building communities that engage all ages. We hope that this page inspires communities around the state to consider the benefits of building intergenerational communities and relationships where all members can thrive.

Resources for Youth and Youth Educators

HOSA chapters across the state have been working with nursing homes to implement the Music & Memory Program. Learn more about how to start a Music & Memory Program in your facility (PDF).

Learn More About This Initiative

This video of HOSA volunteers from Wisconsin demonstrates the impact student volunteers can have when assisting with a nursing facility’s Music & Memory Program.

A Snapshot on Aging and Dementia Curriculum

This curriculum was developed for use with students at the high school level, and can be used by Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) programs or providers to teach the students who may volunteer with older adults.

The goals are to:

  • raise awareness with our youth,
  • undo the stereotype of ageism,
  • address the many myths about aging and highlight positive relationships with older adults.

This curriculum also will give the students information about the need for intergenerational programs, and encourage them to consider professions in geriatrics, and caring for those who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The students will be instructed on meaningful ways to interact with older adults, about activities such as Music & Memory, and ways to get involved as volunteers.

Resources from Other Organizations

Health Science is an educational program developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This curriculum focuses on careers in planning, managing and providing health care. The modules provide students with opportunities to explore a variety of health careers.

Using Technology to Connect Generations - Profiles is a companion publication for the "Using Technology to Connect Generations" report published by Penn State University and Generations United. It consists of profiles of 46 intergenerational programs that use technology in creative and effective ways to connect the generations.

Youth Led Intergenerational Projects is tool kit about the power of connecting strengths of older adults and youth in making a difference in each other’s lives as well as that of the community.

Intergenerational Resources

Creating an Age-Advantaged Community   
Generations United has developed a series of tools to help communities become all-age friendly. This publication compiles some of these tools including:

  • planning tips for communities with examples from successful communities across the United States,
  • inspiring stories from award winning communities,
  • engagement and development scales to assess programs,
  • self-administered community assessment, and infographic on why intergenerational solutions are critical to building strong communities.

The State of Grandfamilies in America lists Texas as one of the top 10 states with grandfamily-friendly laws and policies.

To identify states with the most promising laws and policies to support grandfamilies, Generations United used the following criteria: percentage of children in foster care who are placed with relatives, education and health care consent laws, policies that eliminate barriers to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other federal programs. Knowing that grandfamilies are very diverse and different policies support different types of grandfamilies, Generations United largely weighed the laws and policies equally.

America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Building Livable Communities for Children, Youth, Families and Older Adults (PDF)   
Generations United and MetLife Foundation recognized five incredible communities with the first ever Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. These awards were created to heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational solidarity plays in building strong, supportive communities. Georgetown, Texas is one of the featured communities.

If you have questions, you can email the HHS Quality Monitoring Program.