All Connecticut communities strive to be vibrant, intergenerational places with opportunities for community engagement across the lifespan. Community engagement includes support and connectivity, civic engagement, and opportunities for both employment and recreation.
- Communities in which individuals of all ages are valued and work together enhance the quality of life for all.
- Older adults enhance community capacity by contributing their experience and leadership to support community establishments, engaging in continuing education, addressing critical community issues as paid and unpaid workers, and acting as local economic participants.
- Community engagement serves a protective role in maintaining and even promoting the health, well-being and cognitive ability of older adults.
- Conversely, studies have repeatedly linked social isolation to poor health outcomes, including increased risk for shortened life expectancy, dementia, rehospitalization and increased numbers of falls.
Recommendations for Communities
_____ Promote public awareness about existing community engagement opportunities.
_____ Cultivate an atmosphere that promotes diversity and inclusiveness.
_____ Mobilize older adults to address community issues through meaningful paid and unpaid opportunities, especially to address workforce shortages, to support community institutions and to serve on municipal boards and commissions.
_____ Promote opportunities for intergenerational contribution. For example, young parents need child care, while older adults need transportation for errands; teenagers need employment while older adults need help with small chores around the house.
_____ Support settings for intergenerational learning through adult and continuing education, including job retraining programs for older adults.
_____ Facilitate opportunities for religious, spiritual and social connectivity.
_____ Facilitate opportunities for local economic development.
- The Intergenerational Center at Temple University: Connecting generations to strengthen communities
- Generations United
- Civic Engagement and Recent Immigrant Communities: A planning guide for local officials and other community leaders (with broader applications beyond immigrant communities)
- The Role of Local Elected Officials in Economic Development
- Encore: Second Acts for the Greater Good
- Older Adults as Engaged Volunteers