You may have read the article we linked to in Generations This Week (you can also click on the headline directly above) about the Gilbert, Arizona seniors who are requesting a senior center of their own - no children allowed. While we agree that seniors deserve private time, Generations United opposes the idea of spending tax dollars to segregate the generations in publicy-owned spaces.
There are numerous alternatives to the "all or nothing" approach, including scheduling time slots for age-specific activities or designating "age zones" within the structure. We challenge persons opposed to these ideas to think back to their childhoods and remember the influence some adult had on their upbringing. It would be a shame for young people to miss out on the joy, experience, and wisdom that seniors have to share. Perhaps more worrisome, for those same young people to develop negative attitudes about the aging process.
We encourage the residents of Gilbert to engage in dialogue about what they want their community to look like. GU is a resource to towns like Gilbert across our country who grapple with these issues. Our How-to Guide on Starting and Strengthening Intergenerational Shared Site Programs is a publication that can help inform the dialogue.
Stay tuned and let's find out what Gilbert decides!