Building on the benefits of intergenerational living, which can include alleviating loneliness among seniors and providing mentorships for younger residents, Pittsburgh-based Chatham University and Vincentian Schenley Gardens Personal Care Home are collaborating in an intergenerational living experience for students and seniors.

The partnership between the university’s School of Health and Sciences and the assisted living community offers Chatham students below-market monthly rent in exchange for their agreement to participate in service hours to residents. Activities can include educational workshops, social outings, and technology help.

Since its inception in 2020, the program has hosted approximately five to eight students a year.

The university also plans to work with staff to share insights, provide resources, and study outcomes of the program.

“Vincentian’s trailblazing vision for intergenerational living and our shared interest in positive societal change is driving incredibly positive outcomes and helping us to reconsider our assumptions as future healthcare providers but also to reimagine what it’s like to age in the Pittsburgh region,” Chatham Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Michelle Criss, who researches ageism and attitudes toward aging, said in press release.

For more on intergenerational design, read this EFA article.