MPR’s Minnesota Now Talks Elderly Co-living with Students at Watkins Manor

MPR’s Minnesota Now podcast explores the rising trend of intergenerational living, where different age groups coexist in purposefully designed communities. These communities aim to foster mutual support and social interaction among residents of all ages. Jennifer Molinsky from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies emphasizes the importance of social connections, addressing issues like loneliness. The Watkins Manor Assisted Living Complex in Winona, Minnesota, exemplifies this trend, housing both older adults and younger students who volunteer there. Students, like Dylan Cassella and Hannah Edmond, benefit from the wisdom of older residents, while also providing assistance with technology and sharing youthful energy. Residents appreciate the presence of younger individuals and the exchange of knowledge and experiences. Economically, students in such programs pay reduced rent in exchange for volunteer hours, while also gaining valuable life experiences. The success of programs like these has led to their expansion across the country, with interest from developers and organizations in replicating the model. Overall, intergenerational living promotes interdependence and counters the notion of generational warfare, emphasizing the value of coexistence and cooperation among different age groups.

original post on Minnesota Public Radio