Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive; building on the positive resources that younger and older people have to offer each other and those around them.
Bringing people of different generations together to take part in activities and projects such as gardening, reading or music has been shown to be helpful for both older people and children and young people. Projects have been shown to reduce feelings of loneliness, increase feelings of connection and understanding and to provide a sense of meaning and purpose to those who take part. We want to find out more about intergenerational activities and how they could be used in our health and social care system.
We seek to address this research question: What is the role of intergenerational learning and practice in health and social care from the perspective of older people?
We will be working closely with Fiona Campbell and colleagues based at the University of Sheffield who are leading a separate, but related, project exploring the effect of intergenerational learning and practice on the social and mental wellbeing of children and young people.
We will conduct the project in three stages:
- In the first stage we will bring together all the available research and evaluations to help us to understand:
– the range of intergenerational activities available,
– the ways in which the effects on older people of taking part in intergenerational activities have been measured,
– the types of research study that have been used to look at intergenerational activities and,
– the gaps in our knowledge.
- In the second stage we will work with a group of people involved in delivering and receiving intergenerational activities and those who commission this type of programme to decide a) what the most important research questions are from the perspectives of older people and b) where we need more information. As a group, we will decide which question(s) to answer in the third stage of the project, and how we should answer them.
- In the third and final stage, we will seek to answer one of the research questions using best practice methods and the evidence and evaluations found during the mapping stage.
The voices of people involved in delivering and receiving intergenerational activities will be at the heart of every stage of the project.
We will publish our evidence map and the systematic review in the Campbell Library and will also share the findings using a variety of easily accessible formats, including blog posts, briefing papers and podcasts, targeted to specific audiences. We will work with our stakeholders to ensure that we get the findings to the people who stand to benefit, as well as those who design, plan and deliver services.
- Ellie Robinson Carter
- Stuart Cohen, NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
- Richard Sharpe, Cornwall Council
- Ronald Amanze
- Fiona Campbell, The University of Sheffield