Finding Strength in Community

By Stein, Robert G. | Aging Today, September/October 2011 | Go to article overview

Finding Strength in Community


Stein, Robert G., Aging Today


The heat of this past summer- from the blistering temperatures across the country, to the inflamed deficit and debt dealings in Congress and on the Hill- has caused widespread anxiety from Wall Street to Main Street.

We who advocate for America's elders are feeling and reacting to the effects of this summer's flare-ups. Erosions to Social Security and Medicare are of concern, as is the awareness that the Affordable Care Act is far from secure. Though autumn might bring cooler weather (and possibly cooler heads), Washington's unceasing, unsettling bipartisan dynamics are sure to spike with the coming 2012 presidential campaigns.

A salve for this roiling scenario might be found in marshalling our communal strength. All of us in the community of aging services, from younger to older professionals, must unite and act on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society- children and elders, two populations whose welfare is intimately interconnected. We cannot work for the health and long-term well-being of our elders without considering succeeding generations.

An Intergenerational Ecology

The In Focus section of this Aging Today explores intergenerational connection and its subtleties of power and influence on aging- from the importance of sharing stories and the benefits of multigenerational living to how intergenerational programming can shift society's attitudes and paradigms around aging. Guided by guest editors Peter Whitehouse and Daniel George, these stories highlight a special ecology: the balance of collaboration and connection between generations. To build sustainable practices, care models and communities that best support elders requires the energy and participation of children and youth. …

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