Title

Experience Corps: Design of an Intergenerational Program to Boost Social Capital and Promote the Health of an Aging Society

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-1-2004

Journal

Journal of Urban Health

Volume

81

Issue

1

DOI

10.1093/jurban/jth096

Keywords

Aging; Health promotion; Healthy aging; Social capital; Social engagements; Volunteering

Abstract

Population aging portends a crisis of resources and values. Desired solutions could include intergenerational strategies to harness the untapped potential of older adults to address societal needs and to generate health improvements for older adults. Despite the desire of many older adults to remain socially engaged and productive, the creation of productive roles has lagged. This report describes the conceptual framework and major design features of a new model of health promotion for older adults called Experience Corps®. Experience Corps operates at, and leads to benefits, across multiple levels, including individuals, schools, and the larger community. At the individual level, we propose a model based on Erikson's concept of generativity to explain bow and why Experience Corps works. At the level of schools, we propose a parallel model based on social capital. Experience Corps is a volunteer service program designed to improve the lives of urban children and to yield health improvement for older persons. It illustrates bow population aging creates new opportunities to address difficult social problems. This article explores bow the linkage of concepts at multiple levels motivates a potentially cost-effective, feasible, and high-impact program.

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