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Communities ... and aging

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Where we grow up, where we grow old

Intergenerational Center at Temple University

Intergenerational Center at Temple University

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Our neighborhoods—rural, suburban, urban—are rapidly “graying.” This demographic shift is having a profound effect on communities, most of which are unprepared to negotiate the changes.

Safe neighborhoods, transportation options, services and shops within walking distance, affordable housing, economic stability, social connections, civic engagement, and opportunities for learning, culture, and recreation: together, all of these help to define community. And, what is important to children and families is also important to older residents.

On the flip side, our communities need older adults. Neighborhoods benefit from older adults’ knowledge and skills, and their advocacy and action is often crucial in addressing local concerns such as hunger, homelessness, and crime. Older people bring stability to neighborhoods; they are steady customers at local shops and restaurants, are taxpayers and caregivers, make donations of money and time to charities, and are civic leaders. With their inclusion, communities thrive.

Getting started
Community-centered approaches
Aging in place initiatives
Housing models 
Age-friendly community 
Older adults as community assets


Information on community initiatives in this section was provided by Nancy Z. Henkin, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Intergenerational Center at Temple University.


Help us pursue our mission and strengthen grantmaking to support the needs and potential of older people.