Hosted by Generations Working Together, this week the third Global Intergenerational Week is taking place with organisations around the world sharing their Intergenerational projects to highlight and celebrate connecting younger and older people together.
“Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between different generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities.” (Beth Johnson Foundation, 2009)
The Homeshare model adopts an intergenerational approach by connecting two people together for mutual benefit. A Householder (usually an older person) with a spare room is matched with an individual looking for affordable accommodation (the Homesharer). Homesharers are often younger people and provide up to 10 hours per week of low level practical support or companionship to the Householder.
This Homeshare relationship builds confidence, helps with mental health and forms companionship on an intergenerational level. Both sides benefit from enhanced learning and skill sharing across all age groups whilst reducing loneliness and isolation.
A recent report by the Mental Health Foundation and Independent Age focused on The Mental Health Experiences of Older People in the Pandemic which highlighted key issues impacting older people during the pandemic. They found that many older people tend to need help using technology, therefore during this time their ability to connect socially with others drastically reduced, not only in person but online. The impact of bereavement from the pandemic and/or feelings of loneliness and isolation increased during the pandemic but also continued long past the various waves of Covid-19.
Those individuals in Homeshare matches, however, have expressed great appreciation for having a Homesharer throughout the pandemic. In the midst of the pandemic, Martin, a Householder with Novus Homeshare said,
“Homesharing has been a real life-saver for me during the current situation. My sharer was already working from home before March, but now he can get out to the shops at times when they are less busy so we have never had a problem about food. He cooks our evening meal several times a week and it is good to have someone in the house that I can call on occasionally when I need help with lifting things, or technology, or just finding things that I have mislaid!”
Referring to the issue of loneliness, another Householder with Novus Homeshare said,
“During the covid lockdown having the presence of my Homeshare companion alleviated the isolation which would otherwise have been felt”.
Get involved with this week’s activities surrounding Intergenerational Week 2022 to learn more about how organisations around the world are accommodating intergenerational practices in order to:
- Reduce ageism
- Create opportunities for all generations to feel valued and part of their community
- Boost wellbeing and self confidence
- Enhance learning and skill sharing across all age groups
- Increase understanding and sharing of experience between generations