29 May 2024
Promoting Community and Connection: Exploring a Stockholm Initiative for Age Inclusive Living
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Promoting Community and Connection: Exploring a Stockholm Initiative for Age Inclusive Living

Promoting Community and Connection: Exploring Stockholm's Ett Tak Two Initiative for Age Inclusive Living

“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” – Theodore Roosevelt. The Ett Tak Två Generationer (One Roof, Two Generations) initiative is a digital platform that helps match seniors with younger people looking for housing in Stockholm. The aim of the initiative is to create inter-generational living situations, in which seniors host younger people in their homes. In turn, they receive rental income and improved quality of life. For young people, this service provides housing options that are more affordable than traditional rental contracts.

Success Stories: Building Connections Across Generations

The initiative has been incredibly successful in linking seniors and younger people together. One success story, as reported on the Ett Tak website, involves Lucie, an 18 year old student from France who moved to Stockholm for an educational internship. Knowing that navigating Stockholm’s housing market can be difficult, she reached out to one of the digital service providers offering inter-generational living. Lucie has been successfully living with a senior named Margareta for two months: Lucie has her own room where she can be left alone when desired, while they both share the kitchen and bathroom. As a vegan, Lucie was pleased to know that Margareta was accepting of her dietary needs. 

Another example of this policy in action is of Johan, who found inter-generational housing and support via this program. Johan moved to Stockholm after Christmas to study media and communication science at the university but needed somewhere to live. Everyone knows how difficult it is to find accommodation in Stockholm. Fortunately, through the ‘One Roof, Two Generations’ digital service, Johan was able to connect with Bo, an elderly man from the area who was willing to rent out a room to Johan. Johan was helped to write a contract, and two weeks before the course started he had his room. His living arrangement consists of his own room which he rents furnished, as well as his own toilet. He shares the shower room, kitchen and living room with Bo. According to Johan, this arrangement is working out great and they enjoy each other’s company, taking part in activities like watching movies together.

Future Aspects of Making Stockholm an Elderly Friendly City

Stockholm is committed to creating an age inclusive and friendly city; it is implementing the European Covenant on Demographic Change and the WHO’s criteria for age friendly cities, as noted by Iliana Koutani in a research paper. In order to become a truly age-inclusive and friendly city, Stockholm is focused on making its infrastructure more accessible. For instance, seniors struggling with accessibility and mobility, Stockholm offers both public and private services that bridge the gaps. The availability of quality care staff who provide personal assistance and company when necessary ensures seniors are not neglected and their right to access essential amenities is preserved. Plus, having adequate organizations with resources as well as awareness programs targeting specific groups about age-friendly initiatives will go a long way towards keeping elderly citizens connected with their environments – i.e. emotionally supporting them through challenging times such as isolation or memory loss they encounter due to age. This type of emotional comfort should never be taken lightly – connecting people from all walks of life promotes cooperation instead of relying solely on technology which might further exacerbate loneliness developments among the elderly population. 

The ‘Ett Tak Två Generationer’ initiative is enabling people just like Lucie and Johan to find safe and affordable housing in Stockholm, creating a strong sense of community. The project has gotten really big and now it’s got thousands of people from all kinds of age groups and backgrounds sharing temporary and permanent living spaces. All these amazing stories go to show just how this great community project is helping create serious, long-lasting friendships and, bringing different generations together. 

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