Intergenerational Integration Initiative
The Intergenerational Integration Initiative (3i) will take a version of the hit TV show ‘Old Peoples Home for Four Year Olds’ into the community to collect scientific evidence on the effects of intergenerational practice on healthy ageing, child development and well-being amongst community dwelling older adults and children. The 3i program is a community scientist and stakeholder partnership, including one of the featured researchers on the TV show.
What do we know?
- Over 90% of Australia’s fast growing older adult population are retirees who live in the community.
- Around 80% of pre-school children (aged 3-5) attend a community-based pre-school at least part-time.
- Globalization and increasing relocation have led to geographical separation and less face-to-face contact between grandchildren and grandparents compared to previous generations.
- Older adults who are socially isolated, physically inactive or have low mood are at increased risk of developing dementia and frailty.
- Dementia and frailty are linked to loss of independence, entry into aged care and have a substantial family, societal and economic impact.
What do we need to know?
- Early work by our group and
others has shown that bringing older adults and young children together in
purposeful activities, usually called intergenerational practice, may have
multifaceted positive impacts on older adults, children, and society.
- Potential benefits to
- older adults include improved physical activity, mood, quality of life and social interaction
- children include development of language and empathy and reduced age stereotyping
- society may include delayed need for aged care services and more integrated caring communities.
- Potential benefits to
The potential for intergenerational practice in Australia was identified as early as 2006 by the State and Territory Government funded National Youth affairs research scheme which focused on those aged 12-25 years but did not include younger children .
The events of 2020 and the disruption that COVID-19 has caused to previous social and care structures, mean that the potential gain from intergenerational practice is greater now than ever.
However, there is insufficient research evidence to recommend and implement an effective program of intergenerational practice for Australian communities – Our research will fill this gap.
What we are doing;
- We are currently testing the feasibility and practicability of running a real-life structured intergenerational program, in one site in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney using a 10-week intergenerational program during the school term bringing together local pre-school children and older adults.
- Once we have tested how we can run this in real life we will use our learning to plan a larger scientific study to quantify the benefits across many sites.
- Going forwards our work will inform the development of the next critical steps, for example: providing evidence-based guidelines for establishing and operating such programs nationally and globally.
Multi-disciplinary Project Management Team
|Associate Professor |
research reputation, expertise in ageing, prevention of
|Project and research |
|Dr Stephanie Ward||Consultant geriatrician, clinical medicine, research into ageing and dementia, PhD |
|Dr Micah Goldwater||Research, child |
and use of knowledge https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/about/our-people/academic-staff/micah-goldwater.html
|Ms Nicole Ee||Westpac Future |
Leaders Scholar PhD candidate & CEPAR
School of Psychology
NeuRA, Ageing and
|Rev. And Mrs Segaert||Community, |
facilitators, with local contacts into both
required for such a
St. Nicolas’ Anglican
Church, Coogee and President St. Nics’ Christian Preschool with facilities and children/
families ready to participate in this
|Mr Alan Stuart-Grant||Strategy and |
Expertise: strategy, BSc in business
member of the Australian Institute of
|Dr Gail Kenning||Qualitative research, the creative arts |
|Dr Katrina Radford||Research, aged care |
resource management; health care
|Miss Lucena Neal||Director St Nics |
|Ms Kate Hogan||Regional manager |
With many community contacts of older
people in the target
|Ms Ebony Lewis||Scientia PhD scholar, |
research into frailty, ageing, registered nurse https://www.neura.edu.au/staff/ebony-lewis/
|Ms Kaileigh Asara||Honours student UNSW||Research|
International Advisory Committee
|Name||Name, title, |
|Prof/Dr Ken Rockwood||Global opinion |
leader in frailty,
expertise in clinical medicine and
|Prof/Dr Nicola |
|Old age psychiatrist, |
research reputation, exercise to reduce
risk of cognitive
|Prof/Dr Annecke |
|Research, change |
|Prof/Dr Susan Kurrle||Intergenerational |
|Prof/Dr Eva Kimonis||Child psychology |
|Assoc Prof/Dr Myra |
|Research, social |
policy and ageing
|Dr George Kudrna||Research, economic modelling and Ageing https://cepar.edu.au/dr-george-kudrna||Committee member|