Locating daycare centres in nursing homes for older people is a growing trend especially in countries like the United States, Canada and Japan.
Simon Biggs, a British professor of Gerontology and Social Policy, refers to this kind of initiatives as ‘generationally intelligent’ spaces, defined as those spaces in the community that allow different generational groups to meet, interact and negotiate the shared use of the environment.
This article from the ‘The Atlantic Magazine’ describes the benefits of intergenerational contact to both young children (in this case 0 to 5 year-olds) and older adults.
As in the TOY Project, it also puts the spotlight on what is required for meaningful relationships between the two generations to be established in institutional settings.
The TOY Project research uncovered innovative intergenerational practice when a number of autonomous agencies representing different age groups and sectors used the same premises or outdoor space and collaborated in a range of social and learning activities such as the old people’s home and daycare for children aged 0-4 in Leiden, the Netherlands and the intergenerational centre in Piacenza, Italy, which hosts a day center and a nursing home for the elderly and a nursery for children in the 0 – 3 age range. A detailed description of these initiatives can be found in the TOY case studies.