Intergenerational Programming

Our focus in the area of intergenerational programming includes three prime objectives:
  • Creation of a resource kit with simple, low-cost, effective and sustainable ideas, tools and materials to promote intergenerational activities;
  • Training for family support service providers to support seniors, including newcomers; and training for seniors participating on volunteer teams, to boost satisfying interactions with children and to foster mutual support;
  • Development of an intergenerational volunteer program that could be implemented by organizations working with families and seniors across Canada.

What is intergenerational volunteering and why is it important?

Research shows that seniors are more at risk of social isolation and its consequences including detriment to mental and physical health.

Studies show that bringing together seniors with youth and children creates positive outcomes for both. For children, benefits include improvements in reading, academic achievement, and observed classroom behaviour. For seniors, outcomes include improved physical functioning and mobility, improved cognition, increased social activity, and increased social networking.

What we’re doing

This program proposes to facilitate the social integration of seniors (65+), including newcomers, by piloting an American evidence-based intergenerational volunteer program with seniors and pre-school children at local settlement and family support centres across Canada.

Our Goal

Increase social inclusion of seniors at risk of social isolation through developing and introducing practical ideas for an intergenerational volunteer program aimed at community organizations working with a population aged 65 and over.

Our Partners

The Council on Aging (COA) of Ottawa. 

COA serves as a leading bilingual community voice for Ottawa’s seniors, identifying and addressing issues regarding health, housing, social isolation, transportation, elder abuse, income security, and making Ottawa more age-friendly. 

A&O Support Services for Older Adults (A&O) 

A&O offers older Manitobans specialized programs and services that support and enhance their social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual lives and promote active participation in all aspects of community life. 

Positive Discipline in Everyday Life (PDEL) 

PDEL is dedicated to promoting healthy adult-child relationships and provides programming to parents and training to professionals. 

Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network (Mosaic) 

Mosaic is a rights-based organization that provides newcomer parents and primary caregivers with opportunities to develop additional language and parenting skills to build the confidence and independence needed to participate actively in community life, so they may contribute to and share in the benefits of their new communities.

Promoting Dementia Awareness in Intergenerational Programming in Canada

Families Canada is excited to announce a new project “Promoting Dementia Awareness in Intergenerational Programming in Canada”, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).    

Through this new project, Families Canada will work with our valued partners Council on Aging of Ottawa, Andrew Fleck Children’s Services, and Eastern Ontario Health Unit to reduce dementia stigma and increase the capacity of the family support sector to integrate dementia-inclusivity in intergenerational programming. The long-term outcome of this project is to integrate dementia awareness in intergenerational programs across Canada through the development of multimedia resources, capacity-building activities, and awareness campaigns. 

Project Objectives  

  • To reduce dementia related stigma in intergenerational programs by conducting a nationwide awareness campaign targeting service providers, seniors, caregivers, and parents of young participants 
  • To encourage and support communities to be more dementia inclusive through building knowledge, understanding, and skills in dementia-inclusivity among service providers of intergenerational programs in various settings such as family support, early learning, childcare and long-term care  

Project End Date: March 31, 2024 

Increasing Service Provider Capacity to Support Seniors through Podcasting

Funded by the New Horizons for Seniors Program, Families Canada is developing two podcast episodes that will help family support centres connect seniors.  These podcast episodes will be uploaded on our Supporting Families Podcast. Our podcast guests will be answering questions from the family support sector on how practitioners can break down barriers to social inclusion and meet the needs of seniors in their communities. 

Join Us on this Journey!

Your contributions support the creation of outstanding and meaningful resources to hundreds of thousands of families across Canada. Help us create a brighter future, today!