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  • stefana sardo

A Case for Intergenerational Connections


When I began Che Figata! in 2016, my vision of this passion project was simple: create something meaningful but have fun while doing it. I pledged to change mindsets of aging by inviting women over 50 to celebrate aging through special curated fashion shows. It is a grand display of diverse women 50+ and fashion, showing our resilience, confidence, passion, and strength. Each theme is chosen to tell a story, including the work we do and the passion in our lives. For our fifth year, the chosen theme will be about intergenerational connections.


The social impact of COVID-19 has particularly hit hard two segments of the population, older and young adults. First strike of COVID appeared to kill mainly older people, as a result, reactions towards older adults were predominantly negative, essentially stating that ALL older adults were vulnerable, frail, and burdensome. Even over time as public reports indicated that COVID was striking all ages, rhetoric and the narratives surrounding older adults continue to enact stereotyping.


Ageism has been a big social issue since the late 1950s but COVID-19 has sent progress towards an age friendly culture backwards. However, no stone has been left unturned. The impact of COVID-19 on young adults have been equally devastating. Not only have young adults, especially with the Delta variant, been physically impacted by COVID, education and employment opportunities have been disrupted as well.


We Are in This Together


Vaccines, masks, and social distancing measures are reducing COVID risks. However, social and economic damages are far greater than those caused by COVID-19 virus and these factors are still making it difficult for older and young adults to return to some level of normalcy. So why not bring the two generations together to help each other heal? Intergenerational connections can be extraordinarily powerful for older and younger people. Research suggests that bringing older and younger generations together provide a multitude of benefits including:

  • reducing isolation and loneliness

  • helping keep stories of the past alive

  • sharing skills and experience

  • reducing myths and stereotypes

  • offering hope and inspiration

  • building a caring community

  • improving physical well-being


Stronger Together: Fashion Across the Generations” is the next event by Che Figata! The purpose? Simply to celebrate real life intergenerational connections. Whether it is one moment or an on-going connection across the generations, these relationships show us how both age groups can help each other through the present times and transform our future.


A list of interesting articles about intergenerational relationships, covid-19 impact on young and old, and more.


Intergenerational

  • Older Adults, Teens Could be an Ideal Match for Support During Pandemic

https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/stories/2020/09/older-adults-teens-support-during-pandemic.html

  • Staying Connected While Staying Apart: Intergenerational Programs and the Covid-19 Pandemic

https://www.gu.org/app/uploads/2021/03/2021-Intergenerational-Programs-COVID-FINAL-WEB.pdf

  • How Two Lonely Generations Are Helping Each Other Heal

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/well/family/lonely-generations-young-adults-seniors.html

  • There Are Huge Benefits to Having Much Older Friends (And Much Younger Ones Too) Intergenerational friendships can be more supportive, with less competition.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a32669687/older-friends/

  • What Happens When Old and Young Connect When older and younger people form meaningful relationships, it improves both groups’ well-being

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_happens_when_old_and_young_connect

  • I’ve been playing basketball for 59 years. Let me tell you why

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/ive-been-playing-basketball-for-59-years-let-me-tell-you-why/2020/02/07/b0215f42-413c-11ea-b503-2b077c436617_story.html

  • Stories of Atlantic City Intergenerational Project

https://storiesofatlanticcity.com/intergenerational-storytelling-project/

  • The Power of Intergenerational Connections to Reduce Loneliness

https://www.nextavenue.org/intergenerational-connections-loneliness/

  • 5 Easy Ways to Connect with a Different Generation and Why it Matters

https://betterhealthwhileaging.net/5-easy-ways-to-connect-generations/

  • Value, Depth, and Age: The Prism of Today’s Friendships the Positive Impact of Intergenerational Friendships

https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/life/info-2019/friendship-across-the-ages.html

  • How to Pencil Yourself into a Growing Grandkid’s Busy Schedule

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/14/well/family/grandkids-busy-schedule.html

  • Grandfamily’ Housing caters to Older Americans Raising Children

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/19/business/retirement-grandparents-raising-children.html

Multigenerational workforce

  • A multigenerational workforce provides opportunities for learning and innovation. Here's how to manage multiple generations.

https://www.business.com/articles/hiring-multigenerational-workforce/

  • 6 key facts about the multigenerational workforce in 2021

https://hrmasia.com/6-key-facts-about-the-multigenerational-workforce-in-2021/

  • Can Your Organization Support a Multi-Generational Workforce?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/07/20/can-your-organization-support-a-multi-generational-workforce/?sh=7c8036124dc2

  • Older Workers Valued for Their Experience, Research Shows AARP survey finds that mentoring helps build a multigenerational workforce

https://www.aarp.org/work/working-at-50-plus/info-2019/multigenerational-workforce-survey.html

Covid-19 and Young People

  • Life on Hold: How the Coronavirus Is Affecting Young People’s Major Life Decisions

https://www.prb.org/resources/life-on-hold-how-the-coronavirus-is-affecting-young-peoples-major-life-decisions/

  • Young Adults Hardest Hit by Loneliness During Pandemic

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/02/young-adults-teens-loneliness-mental-health-coronavirus-covid-pandemic/


Covid-19 and Older Adults

  • The Ageism of the Pandemic

https://gjia.georgetown.edu/2021/07/12/the-ageism-of-the-pandemic/

  • What Sweden’s Covid Failure Tells Us About Ageism

https://knowablemagazine.org/article/society/2021/what-swedens-covid-failure-tells-us-about-ageism

  • Does Vaccine Ageism Amount to Gerontocide?

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01689-5/fulltext


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