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Intergenerational Partnerships

SIIP supports community stakeholders in Waterloo Region to collaborate on programs that bring generations together to reduce social isolation among older adults living with dementia, and their care partners. Enabling older adults and secondary and post-secondary aged youth to interact in meaningful ways — sharing skills, expertise and experiences — not only benefits older adults, but also creates experiential learning opportunities for youth that contribute to career development and empower them to be leaders and innovators in the community.

What Are Intergenerational Programs?

Intergenerational programs are “social vehicles that foster engagement between younger and older generations by offering opportunities to interact in mutually beneficial, planned activities in which there is a sharing of knowledge, skills, and experience. Their aim is to increase contact and understanding, to build meaningful relationships, to foster emotional and social growth, and to achieve various educational or community goals” (Cohen-Mansfield, 2015).

Positive outcomes for communities include greater integration and social cohesion. Benefits for youth include positive changes in perceptions and attitudes about aging, prosocial behaviours, more self-confidence and self-efficacy, reduced anxiety, and higher academic scores. Older adults can achieve greater life satisfaction, enhanced emotional well-being, decreased depression, increased self-confidence and efficacy, and increased social interaction, among other benefits.

A few intergenerational programs already exist within Waterloo Region. SIIP will create opportunities to learn more about these programs, as well as initiatives from elsewhere in Canada and internationally, and to spread successful models across communities within Waterloo Region and beyond.

Intergenerational Resources