Articles

Seniors Need Families as Much As Kids Need Families

Extended families are part of God’s original design to protect and care for one another, especially as we age.

01/25/22

John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

“The U.S. is facing an aging population, a shortage of caregivers, a dearth of affordable housing, and an increase in social isolation that threatens wellbeing,” wrote Clare Ansberry in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

It’s true. Covid-19 only deepened an existing crisis for seniors, who were the most susceptible to both the virus and prolonged social isolation.

A solution is desperately needed, but in the words of Ansberry, “some think what we really need is Magic.” She’s referring to an acronym, coined by geriatrician William Thomas, that stands for “Multi-Ability, multi-Generational, Inclusive Co-living.” 

The idea is to build neighborhoods where “young and old, families and singles, live side-by-side, supported by inclusive design, technology, and neighbors.” 

If that sounds like a good idea, it’s because people were designed to live in intergenerational communities. 

It’s a model that reflects a much older, much deeper design: the institution of the family. Not just parents and kids, but extended families are part of God’s original design to protect and care for one another, especially as we age. 

With the breakdown of the family, that’s something we’ve lost sight of. It’s worth getting back.

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