New Survey Highlights Ways to Develop and Sustain Spaces that Serve Young and Old Together

June 18, 2019

PORTLAND, OR–A new survey and report, The Best of Both Worlds: A Closer Look at Creating Spaces that Connect Young and Old, from Generations United and The Eisner Foundation includes actionable ways to boost the number of intergenerational shared sites around the country. Those recommendations include embarking on a coordinated effort to share success stories from shared sites; educating funders on the benefits of shared sites; and working with federal and state governments to change licensing, codes, and regulations.

“For 20 years, Generations United has advocated for using spaces and places to connect generations rather than separate them,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “Intergenerational shared sites are prime for development in every community that cares about the quality of life for residents of all ages.”

This report builds off a 2018 Generations United/Eisner Foundation Harris poll that found 89 percent of Americans think that serving both children/youth and older adults at the same location is a good use of resources. However, only 26 percent are aware of intergenerational shared sites in their own communities. This new report digs deeper into the challenges shared sites face and shares ways to develop and operate spaces that successfully serve youth and older adults together.

“We know that people like the idea of shared sites, but implementation is a challenge. We hope that this new report provides the tools and inspiration to make more shared sites a reality,” said Trent Stamp, CEO of The Eisner Foundation. “Every community should have access to spaces where different generations can come together and benefit from what each has to offer.”

This report also includes the results of a survey conducted by The Ohio State University that established a new national baseline of 110 intergenerational shared site programs across the United States. The survey revealed a wide range of shared site models with a variety of program components including adult day services (42 percent; the most common pairing), assisted living (41 percent), and summer programs (37 percent).

The full report is available at

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