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Create "mentors" CULTURE through 'multi-generation houses' - a kindergarten, a social center for the elderly and a lounge for young families. Pensioners read stories and care for children and being taught about computers in return.

The multi-generation houses in Germany are a solution for two problems that exist is some countries in Europe: the population of over 65 is increasing and childcare is getting more expensive than ever. If we eliminate the financial benefit and concentrate on the essence of this program we will see that pensioners get to share their life wisdom with young families, care for younger children and educate them to respect the elderly, so when they'll grow up they will be more patient and more willing to mentor them.

Photo of Dafna Kaplan
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My close relationship with my grandparents had taught me to be patient and kind to the elderly, but I was lucky to have them around. Not everyone does. So this solution can help those who don't have a granny on their side, to hold them, read stories and share her experience.
Having said that, I do believe that this model should be tested and research about to truly understand what is the impact of having multigeneration houses on each generation, and if different generations can really benefit from it.


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Photo of Val Pierre

In the last 5 years or so, in France, we've seen the construction of intergenerational residences, where older people and students or families with young children live in the same building or complex.

For example in Paris the recently opened "Maison des Générations" Even though in this case, the day care may not be included, the residents are invited to join shared activities and exchange services, thanks to the help of an association (or the concierge/gardien) that helps with the animation of the living community.

I also notice architects or construction firms that promote that concept, ensuring that in the construction project there are exchanges zones for sharing and solidarity (could be a library, a garden... depending on the size of the residence):
(Sorry all text in french...)

Photo of Jason Frederick

Great find, there is a lot that can be gleaned from the article to which you link. I like this partial solution, multigeneration houses, for a number of reasons. For one, it has great potential as a long-term solution, which address multiplie challenges.

Photo of Dafna Kaplan

Thank you Jason, I agree. It is a long-term solution. It's not a trend, but a way of living.

Photo of DeletedUser


Very interesting idea!
But how are we going to create an emotional bond... It will take lots of time!

Photo of Dafna Kaplan

True, it may take some time... but the connection will be deeper. In this instant world that we live in, it's the people who we see everyday who count the most and grab a place in our hearts. Personally, the greatest mentors I've had are the closest family and friends I've got.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Exciting thought, Dafna. Looking forward to hearing more on this in the upcoming Ideas phase. Make sure you post it again there too – and meanwhile you might like to check out the Feed Your Idea section here: Hoping to see more of you on OpenIDEO.

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Dafna, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Update Entry button on the right of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. We know occasionally people have issues uploading images so let us know by hitting the Feedback button at the bottom of most pages of our site if you face any problems. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

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