SEMINOLE – Advances in medicine, workplace safety, risk management and healthy nutrition practices in the last 50 years have vastly increased life expectancy in the United States. As a result, Americans are experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift: Four full generations in relatively good health living side by side.
Florida is a model of the demographic reality the nation will face in 40 years. There are currently 3.3 million Floridians age 65-plus living in the Sunshine State – 18 percent of the population, and over 500,000 of them are over 85. Pinellas County’s age demographics are even more tilted to graying: 21.5 percent of its population is 65 or older, and 4 percent are 85-plus.
How our four generations – children, parents, grandparents and super-elders – can live in harmony and mutual support is the subject of a community conversation at St. Petersburg College’s Seminole campus, 9200 113th St. N., Tuesday, June 17, 7 to 9 p.m., in the Digitorium.
The program, titled “Our Families’ Four Generations: Ready or Not, Here We Are!”, is jointly hosted by the 4Generations Institute of Tallahassee and the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at SPC. The Tampa Bay Times is presenting sponsor.
A panel of experts representing programs serving each stage of life will explore how, by creative action and effective advocacy, the four generations can leverage the assets of each age group for the betterment of all.
“The needs for health care, education, family services, employment, public safety and environmental protection are best addressed through the lens of our four major age groups,” said Jack Levine, founder of 4Generations Institute. “How we address the needs of the four generations is among the most critical economic and public policy challenges for the next decade.”
The Community Conversation, moderated by Levine, will include six Pinellas County leaders whose organizations serve one or more of the four life stages:
• Dr. Marcie Biddleman, executive director, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
• Hon. Rene Flowers, member of the Pinellas County School Board
• Judge Raymond Gross of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Family Court
• Jeff Johnson, director, AARP of Florida
• Shannon Reid, vice president of Education and Practice Management, Raymond James Financial
The 4Generations Institute is a non-profit based in Tallahassee that promotes community volunteerism for the mutual benefit of the four generations: children/youth, parents, grandparents, and elders. Its goal is to identify model intergenerational programs and projects, to expand the impact of quality mentoring and volunteer initiatives, and to cultivate an environment to nurture communications across the generations.
The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg is a resource for academic enrichment, a non-partisan venue for civil, objective debate of topical public issues, a center to promote better government, and a resource for sustainable economic development. Its mission is to support a broad array of research, training, educational and policy analysis and support activities at the local, state, regional and national levels.
For more information, contact David Klement, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, at 394-6933.