Successful Aging through the Life Span: Intergenerational Issues in Health

By May L. Wykle; Peter J. Whitehouse et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Using a Learning Environment
to Promote Intergenerational
Relationships and Successful Aging

Catherine Whitehouse

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.


INTERGENERATIONAL 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

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