Did you know that there are seven generations living in America today?
The Greatest Generation (born 1901-1927) are the centenarians among us, while Generation Alpha (born 2011-2025) represents the youngest citizens in our nation. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are sandwiched in between — with an unparalleled opportunity to continue learning from their elders, while also being inspired by their children, grandchildren and other young people.
According to The Brookings Institute, as of July 2019, more than half of Americans were Millennials (born 1981-1995) or younger. The oldest Millennial is now in their forties, carrying the same responsibilities as their parents. There is a lot of common ground if we look for it.
Our younger generations (Gen Z and Gen Alpha) present several differences that, if we choose to, we can learn from. They are digital natives who’ve never lived without technology. They are more diverse as a group, and more open-minded about inclusion and the acceptance of others.
A report from the Stanford Center on Longevity expresses the beneficial importance of intergenerational relationships at such an age-diverse time in human history. These relationships, which have always naturally occurred within the family construct, also have value within our communities and the workforce.
Each relationship is an opportunity to learn from mutual experiences in modern culture, as well as a chance to explore differing perspectives. Making the effort to connect with others across generational boundaries can bridge the gaps of understanding about the world we share.
At The Village at Providence Point—A National Lutheran Community, we believe that intergenerational connections add interest and value to life. We encourage meaningful relationships and friendships for the benefit of health and happiness. Volunteering provides an opportunity to bring young people into our community, as well as offering residents a chance to reach out to others of all ages.
Where older generations most often grew up near their extended families, that is no longer the case. We are spread out across the nation (and the world), away from our kids and their kids. Fortunately, technology can play a key role in keeping everyone connected.
The pandemic forced us to become more technically savvy. Research from AARP showed that 70% of older adults used video technology to keep in touch. While older adults are clearly more adept now, 54% want to know more about using technology. It’s a natural meeting place for intergenerational connection and collaboration.
Listened to any new music lately? Or are you stuck on your classic rock or 70’s pop playlist? It’s easy to get in a groove with your music, just don’t let that groove turn into a rut. Sit down with a younger person and watch some YouTube videos. Find out what’s hot in your favorite genres and experience new music from around the world.
If you have musical talent yourself, think about donating your skills to a children’s program or offering private lessons for a fee. Of course, there’s always a full concert roster at family-friendly musical venues in the Annapolis area.
In Annapolis, adults and kids of all ages can learn about naval history, explore life in 18th century Maryland, and get playful at the children’s museum. Local art museums and galleries also offer touring exhibitions. There is no shortage of opportunities for intergenerational discovery — especially with our proximity to Washington D.C., Baltimore and their famous museums and attractions.
Breaking bread to break down barriers
Cooking and sharing a meal is a wonderful way to pass down traditions and culinary wisdom. It’s also a chance to look at new recipes and try some adventurous flavors. You can go to the store or farmer’s market together with a list in hand, carefully choosing your ingredients. Any meal – done right — can be a fun and tasty learning opportunity for you and a younger friend or relative.
Enjoying the outdoors will be a big part of life at The Village at Providence Point. Not only will our community be surrounded by green spaces, but we are also in easy reach of wooded forests, waterfront parks and natural conservation areas. In fact, there are 40 different parks on more than 200 acres of park land and 17 miles of shoreline in Annapolis. All accessible to the multiple generations that live, work and play here. We love these outdoor spaces for the fun and memories that can be shared.
These are just some of the meaningful ways that you can connect across generations when you live, play, and thrive in our community. Learn more about The Village at Providence Point at one of our upcoming Information Events. Sign up now to attend.
The Village at Providence Point is affiliated with National Lutheran Communities & Services, a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving people of all beliefs. The Village at Providence Point is subject to the final approval of the Maryland Department of Aging.