Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Meet Generations United's Reviewers


Mary Elliot graduated from Eastern University in May with a degree in Philosophy, Sociology, and Economics. Currently residing in Boston, Mary works remotely as a research assistant for a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. A long time volunteer with associations that serve the elderly, Mary is interested in what intergenerational experiences may teach us regarding plurality and difference.




Nancy E. S. Wood, MSW, BSN: She founded Families Turning, LLC to address the needs of adult family members as they come back together emotionally and/or physically in order to live into more harmonious and fulfilling relationships and attend to important discussions. She writes and provides workshops on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of adult-to-adult family relationships. She was raised in an intergenerational home where she learned to value this type of community life and carried this passion into her careers as a professional nurse and therapist. When not working at Families Turning she can be found watching movies, in nature taking photos and hiking and spending time with members of her intergenerational household.



Taylor is a Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Master’s Research Fellow in Aging at the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging at Washington University’s Institute for Public Health. Her professional and research interests include geriatric health, intergenerational engagement & advocacy, and grandfamilies. When not reviewing for Generations United, she enjoys yoga, teaching color guard, and exploring the city of St. Louis

Monday, December 05, 2016

The Commons Methodist Home

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week's cool idea is The Commons Methodist Home in Oklahoma, which connects The Commons residents with children and youth through reading activities, music and student celebrations.

(Check our archives for parts 1-88 | non-archived: 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 7)


The Commons United Methodist Health Care Center is part of an educational program for 4-year-olds, an Intergenerational Approach to Learning, which benefits both children and The Commons residents alike.

The program's youth along with the Commons' "grandmas and grandpas" provides a unique atmosphere for learning, caring and cooperation.

The Commons 4-year-old program is a collaborative effort between the United Methodist Health Care Center, Enid Public Schools and CDSA/Smart Start Northwest Oklahoma. 

The project is fully funded by Enid Public Schools and an Innovative Project Grant through Smart Start Oklahoma from the Inasmuch Foundation. The grant provides a professional teacher and assistant through Enid Public Schools.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Share the inspiration. You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lifesongs

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.


This week's cool idea is Lifesongs, an intergenerational arts project in New Mexico that promotes social inclusion and dignity for elders and people in hospice care.

(Check our archives for parts 1-87 | non-archived: 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 7)

Lifesongs brings elders and people in hospice together with artists, youth, and other community members in creative exchange. Working one-on-one and in ensembles, participants develop original works that incorporate music, movement, and multimedia to explore the richness of all stages of life.

After many months of collaboration, the pieces are performed in a public concert by professional musicians, local choirs, and artists of all ages.

Through witnessing our elders’ songs and stories, we connect around what we share as opposed to what separates us, we bless and heal the past, and we hold our elders and the dying in their potential rather than their decline.


In addition to public performances and scalable concerts, Lifesongs provides free and public facilitated dialogues on death and dying with community partners. In 2015, Lifesongs launched the Story Gathering project. 

The Story Gathering project brings youth, community members, and elders together to share stories and life experiences. Participants collaboratively shape stories into new works of writing and art to present to the wider community. 

While deepening its roots in northern New Mexico, Lifesongs is carefully fostering and mentoring projects in other communities around the country.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Share the inspiration. You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Journalist Remembers Growing Up in Grandfamily - #IGinspirations

EDITOR'S NOTE: #IGinspirations is a new series we started that features stories people have about their grandparents. 

Journalist Tammy Trujillo, host of the award-winning Community Cares show, remembers being raised by her grandparents. (Part 1)

My Grandmother, who with my Grandfather took care of me much of my childhood, was badly injured in a car accident when I was in high school. She ended up in a convalescent home. 

My Grandfather had already passed. I would go to visit her with my mother, but as most teenagers would, I hated going there. It was not a nice place and there was nothing to really do there.

Over the years, her eyesight and hearing failed and she began to suffer from dementia. So communication became increasingly difficult. I rarely went to see her....but I did go - alone - one day in my late 20s. 

She didn't realize who I was. She thought I was the nurse's aide and proceeded to want to talk about her Granddaughter....me! 

She told me how proud she was of her Granddaughter, how she had finished college and was now a successful radio personality. She talked about what a hard childhood I had had because of my stepfather and how she had felt bad for me and always tried to help. 

It was amazing because I didn't know that, before dementia set in, she had actually been following my career.

She spoke for about 20 minutes. I worked very hard to keep her from realizing that I was crying. When she finally finished, I thanked her - still in the guise of the nurse's aide - for telling me about her wonderful Granddaughter. 

She smiled and was quiet.

Passing the other bed in the room as I went to leave, the woman in it called me over. Quietly, she told me she had not meant to eavesdrop but had heard all that my Grandmother had said and asked if I was the Granddaughter. 

She explained what a great gift I had just been given to know just how much my Grandmother loved and cared about me.

Do you have an #IGinspirations story? Share it with us. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stoughton Community Garden

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week's cool idea is the Stoughton Community Garden in Massachusetts, started by the Stoughton Youth Commission.

(Check our archives for parts 1-86 | non-archived: 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 and 7)

There are currently 10 garden plots tended by 10 groups of garden partners (made up of youth, seniors, and family members working together).

The idea blossomed when the town decided to place the Stoughton Youth Commission under the same roof at the Stoughton Council on Aging.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Share the inspiration. You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter!