Are Multi-generation Lifestyles Linked to Longevity?

According to a research article by JAMA, feeling young regardless of age may help you live longer, but what does is really mean to be younger than your years? For some that might be an active social calendar, maybe it’s the stamina to chase after grandkids or the passion to pursue a favorite hobby.  For a nursing home in Deventer, Netherlands, watching the game with energetic college students is how their seniors are finding a youthful vitality. As a swap for paying apartment rent, a small group from surrounding universities have taken to providing companionship, and an energetic vibe to residents that proves age is all relative.

Childlike enthusiasm is wasted on the young. As children we can’t wait to get older, and then it’s oh, to feel like a kid again.  Older adults that spend time with the younger generation tend to show more vigor, are more savvy in terms of modern amenities, and have a greater sense of social connection.  Multi-generational housing is a way of life for many cultures, and is particularly beneficial for seniors who may otherwise be in an assisted living facility, or feel socially isolated. In turn, according to an article published by the Journal of Social Issues, children with close relationships to their grandparents had fewer issues with depression, and low self esteem.  Grandma, and Grandpa have seen a thing or two in their lifetime, and imparting this wisdom onto their kids, and grandkids creates a stronger family bond overall. 

Many retirement community developers have caught onto to the benefits of generations co-existing together. Gavilan in Rancho Mission Viejo California is one such community that bridges the age gap by combining resort style 55+ living nestled amongst homes designed for younger families.  Retirees have the luxury of enjoying own lifestyle amenities, while having the option to mingle with youngsters in common areas available to all ages. Seniors can enjoy feeling young at heart with all the sophistication a 55+ community provides. Walt Disney said it best, “Adults are only kids grown up, anyway~”