GenSpace Director Calls for Revolutionizing Spaces for Older Adults

Wallis Annenberg GenSpace Director Dr. Jennifer Wong wrote a piece for Next Avenue highlighting the importance of changing the way we view centers for older adults. 

The piece is co-authored with Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE, an organization with 42 years of experience supporting LGBTQ+ elders. His expertise providing support to an under-served community paired with Dr. Wong’s experience developing and now running GenSpace offer valuable insight about how we can support our growing population of older adults. 

By 2034, adults 65 and older will outnumber children for the first time. This shift requires more resources and infrastructure to support older adults as they live longer, fuller lives. 

GenSpace is a powerful example of the kind of center that can be created to support creativity and connection for older adults. It defies the stereotype of a so-called ‘senior center,’ which Adams and Dr. Wong argue is an outdated term. Instead, they call for more spaces that reflect the changing stages of life.

“In our experience, older adults don't want to spend their time in places built around the notion that they are victims in decline. They want to be in places that empower them to learn, have fun, and grow. Our spaces should reflect this difference and be designed in a way that embraces the idea of new stages in life instead of ages.”
Dr. Jennifer Wong
Director, Wallis Annenberg GenSpace

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