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Intergenerational

Bridging the age gap, together

There’s an old saying that ‘age is just a number’ yet, all too often, it needlessly drives a wedge between generations due to ageist pre-conceptions.

The truth is that, when younger and older people come together, everybody wins. 

Social Inclusion is a core part of our advocacy (you can find it under ‘S’ in our policy platform ‘VOICES: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada’) and we’ve made several actionable recommendations to governments across Canada to work toward bridging the age gap in our communities.

This type of work, commonly called “intergenerational”, has been proven to have a profoundly positive effect on both younger and older people, and is an area of keen focus across the globe.

Benefits of intergenerational social connections for older people include:

  • Decreased rates of social isolation
  • Improved physical and mental health
  • Reduced risk of elder abuse
  • Lowered risk of dementia 
  • Longer lifespan
  • Increased happiness

We’re working with partners across Canada to advance the “intergenerational agenda”; forging meaningful social connections between young and old.

This is just one way we’re making our vision of a country where every older person lives a vibrant and connected life a reality.

Our Intergenerational Advocacy

Ageism can’t exist in a truly intergenerational society.

Here are some of the ways we’re advocating for governments to bridge the age gap:

  • Create and support innovative intergenerational programs and opportunities
  • Co-locate child care and senior care day programs. Create crafts and engage in physical activities together
  • Support literacy, numeracy, arts, and mentorship opportunities between younger and older generations
  • Create Community Adult Care Hubs which bring together respite supports, adult day programs, and childcare
  • Municipal governments should develop age-friendly bylaws including increased opportunity for in-law suites, laneway housing, intergenerational cohousing options, and building codes
  • For Indigenous seniors, expand traditional language teaching both intergenerationally and in the broader community to support elder inclusion and linguistic longevity.

Partnerships

As part of our efforts to advance our intergenerational agenda, we have partnered with InterGen Studio™, a charitable project led by a group of cross-disciplinary experts (broadcasters, strategists, researchers, marketers, teachers and education experts), with a vision to bridge the intergenerational gap in Canada and beyond. 

InterGen Studio™, is a mentored online platform that empowers large numbers of youth and elders to collaborate, and tell each other’s stories at a broadcast-quality level. While the InterGen Studio™ team is currently in the initial phases of product development, they are highly dedicated to their mission of combating social isolation, sparking rewarding relationships across generations and cultures, and generating entertaining and accessible content to share. 

We are helping the InterGen Studio™ team collect insights from future potential users of the platform that will help the final product meet their needs.

We need your valuable input. 

Join our Intergenerational Movement

Becoming a free CanAge member is a great way to show your support for connecting older and younger people.

It also comes with a bunch of exciting benefits, including:

  • Exclusive offers on products and services from our vetted partners
  • Priority access to engaging events and experiences
  • Our monthly newsletter containing all things CanAge advocacy
  • Chances to participate in research and surveys that are shaping the future of aging in Canada

Ready to help make Canada a better place to age?

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Toronto, ON, M5S 1V4

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto

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