Using a Learning Environment
to Promote Intergenerational
Relationships and Successful Aging
Stephanie J. FallCreek
Peter J. Whitehouse
Intergenerational health is an emerging multifaceted concept (Wadsworth & Whitehouse, 2001). It may incorporate systemlevel issues about allocation of health resources (equity and sustainability), as well as individual level issues (knowledge, attitudes, and skills) among different generations. In this chapter, we explore some of the facets of intergenerational health in the context of a collaboration between two community organizations, the Intergenerational School (focused on multiage education) and Fairhill Center (focused on successful aging), as they cocreate a relationship to nurture life-span learning as one important foundation for health.
Our approach recognizes health as both a state of being and a resource that may be possessed and used by individuals, families, and communities. One classic definition of health is “a state of complete physical, social, and mental well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (World Health Organization, 1948). This implies that good health as a “state of being” is an end in