People often mention the need to develop more intergenerational programs as they can positively affect people of all ages. The pandemic highlighted the social isolation of the elderly; however, intergenerational ties have been weakening for several decades. This is partly due to the evolution of our ways of working and living. Despite this, a growing body of evidence supports intergenerational relationships for the many benefits they provide.
Intergenerational activities are those that bring people of different ages together. It might include employers promoting intergenerational collaborative work, schools and recreational centers setting up programs for children to visit nursing homes for arts and crafts, or cohabitation programs that connect students with older adults, for example. This knowledge-sharing and collaboration can positively impact the social and mental well-being of young people and the elderly.
Intergenerational programs benefit young people, older adults, and society as a whole. While some programs may be time-limited and informal, others may require formal partnerships. There are often guides available to help individuals and organizations set up these programs in their communities. If you’re looking for a program in your area, check with your community centre or public library.
To learn more about how intergenerational programs can benefit people of all ages, continue reading more in our resources below.