In reading articles supporting intergenerational friendships, it seems clear that there is great value for all parties. While a majority (26%) of intergenerational relationships are reported to be developed through work, AARP reports that 12% of these relationships are formed by being neighbors and 10% are formed via mutual friends. (AARP, 2019). One such benefit noted from both older and younger generations who have an intergenerational friendship note that a new and different perspective is a highly valuable part of the friendship.
Another plus? Intergenerational friendships last! AARP notes that,
Intergenerational friendships stand the test of time.
Almost half (45%) of close intergenerational friendships have lasted at least 10 years,
with a fifth (20%) lasting more than 20 years. (AARP, 2019).
Intergenerational friendships, like all friendships, help decrease feelings of loneliness. According to Cargiversofamerica.com, Loneliness increases depression, increases mortality, increases blood pressure, is associated with cognitive, physical and communicative decline. (Caregiversofamerica.com, 2022). Through creating meaningful connections with others, we are able to improve our health and well-being (AARP, 2019).
Based on this information, it seems that integenerational friendships are beneficial to everyone. With 12% of these friendships formed by neighbors, today is an excellent day to knock on your neighbor’s door and say, “Howdy!”As we continue to celebrate Great Outdoors Month, there are many ways to find, foster and create meaningful relationships across generations. Why not sit on the patio and enjoy a lemonade? Perhaps a stroll around the garden? We would love to hear about your most meaningful intergenerational friendships and adventures!
“5 Benefits of Intergenerational Relationships.” CareGivers of America, Providing You With The Best In Home Healthcare – South Florida, Caregivers of America, 24 Jan. 2022, https://caregiversofamerica.com/intergenerational-relationships/.
Johfre, Sasha Shen. “Report on Intergenerational Relationships – Stanford Center on Longevity.” Stanford Center on Longevity’s New Map of Life Program, Aug. 2021, https://longevity.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Johfre_NML_IntergenerationalRelationships.pdf.
Vicki Levy, Colette Thayer. “The Positive Impact of Intergenerational Friendships.” AARP, Feb. 2020, https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/life/info-2019/friendship-across-the-ages.html.
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Manager of Program Development
CommunityCare of Lyme