Theoretical Orientations to Intergenerational Home Sharing with Implications for Direct Social Work Practice

Ernest Gonzales, Cliff Whetung, Rachel Kruchten, Donna Butts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Population aging presents many challenges that will require innovative solutions. Emerging challenges include low levels of affordable housing that jeopardize the sustainability of aging-in-community and health among older adults. Concurrently, the affordability of higher education is a pressing concern for graduate students. Intergenerational home sharing appears to be a promising solution to help improve the affordability of education and housing, bolster opportunities to age-in-place and age-within-communities, and consequently improve various aspects of health for individuals, families, and society. Although the idea of sharing a home between skipped generations emerged in the mid-twentieth century, programs are often short-lived, small boutique experiences. Moreover, the scholarship is underdeveloped, which may contribute to issues of scalability and low levels of participation. This conceptual paper integrates intergenerational solidarity and productive aging theories to inform the development of policies and programs that bolster engagement in home sharing between graduate students and community-dwelling older adults. We review key factors at the individual and institutional levels, as well as barriers and facilitators at the policy and cultural levels. We conclude with implications for social worker practitioners, researchers, and advocates.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
StateE-pub ahead of print - Oct 17 2019


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