Age segregation is not as old a practice as many of us may think. On the contrary, before the second half of the 20th century, it was common for all generations to live together. With social security and the availability of resources, it has become common for people to live with their age groups. But in the long run, it may not be such a good idea.
When families were living together, taking care of one another irrespective of age differences was a common phenomenon. But as the shift towards living separately or among age groups increases, age segregation increases as well. This ultimately creates a bilateral consequence of the age divide.
Many sociologists believe that age segregation is actually institutionalized. Across many fields, including leisure, communities segregate by age by creating youth centers or senior centers. According to research findings, living with age segregation is harmful to society as a whole. It hinders individual opportunities as well as contributing to ageism.
To offset the impact of age segregation in our lives, many groups are working to overcome the practice of living separately. For this reason, intergenerational living and cooperation are vital. Many organizations are dedicated to promoting the practice of intergenerational living so that we can overcome age segregation.
Intergenerational living advocates for a better quality of living. It beats segregation by age to prevent its harmful consequences. Some of the benefits of intergenerational living that create opportunities for all include the following.
Encourage collaboration: Intergenerational living is based on the notion of collaboration. That is, when individuals of different generations live together, they cooperate with each other.
From mundane chores to important activities, all become collaborative work with intergenerational living. The younger generation as well as the seniors can come together with a unified purpose. This fosters collaboration in all walks of life.
Promotes innovation: Living without age segregation increases the opportunity to learn different takes and approaches. Especially for the younger generation, learning from the experience and skills of the elderly becomes possible.
They learn to gather different perspectives to address different issues in society. Ultimately, intergenerational living promotes innovation.
Enhance the quality of life: With intergenerational living, the quality of life increases substantially. It improves both physical and mental health for both youngsters and seniors. Simultaneously, living without age segregation benefits both parties by enabling different opportunities for collaborating and working together.
Quality of life enhances when ageism is restricted in society due to intergenerational living. This also creates a greater sense of purpose among young people.
Breaks stereotypes: When different generations live together, the scope for mutual understanding and appreciation increases. Over time, this can eliminate the stereotypes of the age divide and ageism in society.
It also enables the acceptance of diversity around us. Thus, we become able to break the chains of institutionalized age division among ourselves. Intergenerational living can open the doors to new opportunities, create a better quality of life, and enable different generations to come together in harmony.