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Jurriën Mentink

Intergenerational living

Meaning 2017

In our disrupted, uncertain world, every generation faces its challenges. Young people face increased costs for education and accommodation, while an ageing population requires care and dignity.

At Humanitas care homes in the Netherlands there is an innovative approach to this problem. Young people like Jurriën Mentink live rent-free in exchange for the time, care and companionship they offer their older neighbours. As a resident at Humanitas, Jurriën helps us understand how, instead of cultivating rifts between the generations, we can find creative ways to genuinely foster learning, respect and friendship among people of different ages – as equals.

Jurriën’s story is immediately engaging and touching. But it carries a deeper message. By building an alternative vision of society’s expected structures and expectations, can we a create a better society where each of us – regardless of where we are in our lives – is empowered to contribute and learn from each other?

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