Latest "Ideas for Intergenerational Living" Newsletter
This article - from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development's newsletter - emphasizes some of the benefits associated with an aging population. It also highlights several Penn State Intergenerational Program initiatives that draw upon the skills and resources of older adults to strengthen communities.
Loriena A. Yancura, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Family & Consumer Science University of Hawai`i at Manoa
For three professors with deep roots in Penn State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education (AESE), an unexpected reunion took place on March 7, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan, during the International Conference of Elder Education and Intergenerational Learning.
[From NCOA (National Council on Aging) Week. Nov. 12, 2013.]
This Pew study reports on the findings of an extensive survey of 22,425 respondents in 21 countries conducted from March to April 2013 to measure public opinion on a variety of challenges faced by aging persons and their countries.
Using 1228 female twins (188 of whom were caregivers), researchers at the University of Washington examined the origins of different types of psychological distress among caregivers. Findings included: depression and perceived mental health have strong associations with genetic inheritance, anxiety is directly related to caregiving, while perceived stress is more likely to be a reflection of the type of environment a person grows up in. Response to distress also depends on a person's resources such as coping, social supports and income.
Researchers in New York, Chicago and San Francisco held focus groups in which ethnically diverse participants discussed end-of-life or other serious medical decisions for others (surrogate decision-making). The study found that in all cultures, firstborn children play critical roles as surrogate decision makers, leading to increased feelings of emotional stress, and loneliness.
This site is home to the most comprehensive look at volunteering and civic life in the 50 states and 51 cities across the country. Data includes volunteer rates and rankings, civic engagement trends, and analysis.
One third of 65-74-year-olds will be in the labor force in 2022, according to trends identified by government statistics: "The [labor force] participation rate for people ages 65 to 74 years was 20.4% in 2002 and rose to 26.8% in 2012. BLS projects the rate for this age group to continue increasing, to 31.9% in 2022," according to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
Abstract: As a consequence of increased divorce rates, the proliferation of single-parent families, and patterns of economic stagnation, parents are increasingly relying on extended family to care for children. In the past few decades, a substantial increase in the number of grandparents raising grandchildren has been observed within the United States. Grandparents who raise their grandchildren are particularly vulnerable, as are the grandchildren in their care; however, U.S. policy currently presents many barriers, gaps, and unintended consequences for grandparent caregivers.
As a kid, Fred Rogers' heroes were caped crusaders who could lift buildings with one arm. That changed when he became an adult. He explained: "...now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me." In their Huffington Post blog, Donna Butts and Dr. Sally Newman not only honored the late TV host, but also showed how intergenerational programs make everyone a hero.
ECIL – which stands for “European Certificate in Intergenerational Learning” – is a project financed by the European Commission under its Leonardo da Vinci program. The aim of this project is to pilot a collection of intergenerational lifelong learning training approaches and course materials.
Two websites and a new book highlighted in: TEACHING GERONTOLOGY, Apr. 17, 2014 (H.R. Moody, Editor)
Keith Richards, a grandfather of five, remembers how quality time spent with his grandfather, Theodore Augustus "Gus" Dupree, helped him realize his love of music. He will capture those moments and more in the picture book, Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar, which Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will release on Sept. 9. "The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured," Richards explained in a statement. "This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me."
Iowa State University’s LIFE [“Living (Well through) Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise”] program is designed to increase older adults’ mobility through physical activity thereby lowering their risk for falls and fall-related injuries. Using exergaming equipment, younger adult volunteers increase access for at-risk older rural populations to sustainable, low cost, physical activity programming.
The “Ages and Stages” project in the UK has developed an innovative approach to intergenerational connection through theater.
In recent years, Hong Kong people’s English language proficiency keeps declining. Last late year, a survey indicated that Hong Kong’s English language proficiency level ranked lower than many countries and regions in Asia. A new university-level collaboration provides training and “Intergenerational-ESL” certification for retired professionals who work with young people as “life coaches,” English language teachers, and conversation partners for sharing their life and work experiences.
Welcome to 2014!! This is the time of year when most people focus on new plans and promises. However, I’d like to buck this trend and begin this issue of Penn State’s “Ideas for Intergenerational Living” newsletter by looking to the past. In the “In Memoriam” section, we remember and honor four exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to the intergenerational studies field. Although they are no longer with us, their legacies of innovation and leadership live on and continue to inspire us.
[Note from the editor:] In the following 4 sections, we remember and honor several exceptional individuals: Janet Sainer - innovator and advocate for numerous programs and policies that support grandparent caregiver families, Ed Krentzman - who helped frame and expand the FELLOWS program in Hawaii, Pat Rosini - the driving force for the Intergenerational Nutrition Greenhouse in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and Bob Kasey, Jr. - founder of Creative Grandparenting and Creative Mentoring in Wilmington, DE. Beyond noting their contributions as practitioners and innovators in the still-young intergenerational studies field, we acknowledge their impact as mentors and supporters for the many people they have inspired and who follow in their footsteps. On a personal note, I had the great pleasure of getting to know Janet and Ed. Their life stories provide resounding support for the idea that even one individual can truly make a difference!!
The following remarks were shared at the Third generations United Janet Sainer Luncheon, sponsored by the Brookdale Foundation Group (August 1, 2013).