Supporting Inclusion through Intergenerational Partnerships (SIIP) is a 5-year (2019-2024) project at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) to promote social inclusion among community-dwelling older adults living with dementia, and their care partners, in Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Through funding provided by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, SIIP supports community organizations to develop sustainable intergenerational partnerships.
SIIP Project Components
Stakeholders in Waterloo Region were invited to submit proposals for funding to expand or create new intergenerational projects.
Dementia Education for Youth
SIIP hosts the LIVING the Dementia Journey for Young Adults e-learning program to give youth a better understanding of what dementia is, as well as different perspectives and impacts of living with dementia. Youth also gain practical tools to confidently interact with older adults living with dementia through experiential learning opportunities within intergenerational programs.
This program is an adaptation of the RIA’s “LIVING the Dementia Journey ”, which is an award-winning program for those who support people living with dementia. This program was designed with input from youth and people living with dementia to create a course that is based on current research and the personal experiences of people living with dementia, family members, and professionals.
SIIP has run a pilot the program in selected schools, and it will now expand to schools across Waterloo Region.
For more information about LDJ, visit livingdementia.ca.
Through our research stream, SIIP has identified opportunities to connect with research already happening in the community. The project has created meaningful roles for older adults and youth to participate in research and evaluation as co-investigators.
- The SIIP project has two core objectives related to research:
Contribute new research evidence about effective strategies to reduce barriers and promote social inclusion, and
- Establish a shared approach to measuring social isolation in the community and identifying individuals in need of support.
To help achieve our objectives, the SIIP Team has:
- assessed research gaps;
- identified opportunities to connect with existing community-based research projects related to dementia and/or social isolation;
- engaged and supported student researchers through the provision of research stipends; and
- created meaningful roles for older adults and youth to participate in research and evaluation as co-investigators.
Evaluation, Sustainability and Knowledge Mobilization
The SIIP evaluation strategy uses shared measurement to support continuous improvement. Collaborating organizations will track progress toward common goals in the same way. This allows for continuous improvement, ensures that all efforts remain aligned, and enables participants to hold each other accountable and learn from each other’s successes and failures.
A developmental evaluation approach will be used in the early years of the SIIP project, as we establish the initiative’s core structure and processes, and build relationships among collaborating organizations and other community stakeholders. The SIIP Team will also evaluate funded programs while developing a longer-term evaluation strategy to measure system-level changes and the impact of SIIP on our target population.
SIIP will develop and implement a sustainability plan to ensure that successful elements of the project continue after the project funding ends.
Finally, SIIP will document and tell others about our innovative model of how to build and sustain intergenerational partnerships. We want to share what we learn, so that other communities can benefit by doing the same thing.