WashU for Life
Washington University in St. Louis is a new member of the Age-Friendly University Global Network, a group of educational institutions committed to expanding programs and policies to engage people in all life stages. Universities in the network help develop innovations in education, research, and community engagement in order to increase age-diversity on campus, improve multigenerational learning environments, and create opportunities for career development across a longer life course. As part of its Age-Friendly University work, the Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging has created a new initiative, WashU for Life, to become a comprehensive age-integrated research university.
Current WashU for Life Programs
Next Move is a group for MSW/MPH/MSP graduate students returning to school after substantial work/life experiences who are aiming to redefine, restart, or advance their careers. Meetings and events have included IT and Career services info sessions, support group sessions, happy hours, and alumni panels where former students discuss their experiences. A long-term goal is to launch Next Move student groups in other WashU colleges in addition to the Brown School.
Intergenerational Shared Housing
The Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging is currently partnering with multiple community organizations to provide intergenerational housing opportunities for graduate students. These organizations include Homeshare St. Louis, Tower Grove Manor and Crown Center. Intergenerational housing opportunities provide graduate students with alternative types of living and learning experiences with older adults near the University.
Home sharing is a mutually beneficial arrangement in which older adult homeowners provide spare space to graduate students at below-market rates. This allows students to live in neighborhoods near the University and older adults benefit socially from sharing their homes with a younger housemate. The Skinker DeBaliviere Community Council began HomeShare St. Louis in 2017 to address the needs of its older residents and has recently expanded to surrounding neighborhoods, Central West End, University City and Clayton.
Tower Grove Manor and Crown Center are two independent living facilities in St. Louis for adults 65+. These facilities have studio, one and two bedroom apartments and provide amenities and activities for all residents. Graduate students have the opportunity to rent apartments in these buildings for free or at reduced cost in exchange for their service.
For more information on these opportunities, view the articles below:
January 23, 2019| A new use for the spare room, Curbed
- IPH blog post about home sharing from May 2018: https://publichealth.wustl.edu/home-sharing-living-with-roommates-in-later-life/
- IPH news post from April 2019: https://publichealth.wustl.edu/news/intergenerational-housing-opportunity/