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.

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 [1].

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;

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Name, title Expertise Role
Associate Professor
Ruth Peters
International
research reputation, expertise in ageing, prevention of
cognitive decline,
dementia
www.neura.edu.au/staff/dr-ruth-peters
Project and research
lead
Dr Stephanie Ward Consultant geriatrician, clinical medicine, research into ageing and dementia, PhD
candidate
https://cheba.unsw.edu.au/our-people/dr-stephanie-ward
Clinical lead
Dr Micah Goldwater Research, child
psychologist, the
nature, acquisition,
and use of knowledge https://www.sydney.edu.au/science/about/our-people/academic-staff/micah-goldwater.html
Research
Ms Nicole Ee Westpac Future
Leaders Scholar PhD candidate & CEPAR
Research Student
Psychology UNSW,
School of Psychology
Research Assistant,
NeuRA, Ageing and
Neurodegeneration,
Peters Group
https://www.neura.edu.au/staff/nicole-ee/
Research
Rev. And Mrs Segaert Community,
stakeholder lead.
Instigators and
facilitators, with local contacts into both
demographics
required for such a
program
www.coogeestnics.org

Reverend at
St. Nicolas’ Anglican
Church, Coogee and President St. Nics’ Christian Preschool with facilities and children/
families ready to participate in this
program.
Community,
Stakeholder lead
Mr Alan Stuart-Grant Strategy and
development
Expertise: strategy, BSc in business
administration, a
member of the Australian Institute of
Company Directors
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alanstuartgrant/?originalSubdomain=au 
Community
Dr Gail Kenning Qualitative research, the creative arts
https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-gail-kenning
Research
Dr Katrina Radford Research, aged care
workforce; human
resource management; health care
management
https://www.griffith.edu.au/griffith-business-school/departments/business-strategy-innovation/contact-us/staff/dr-katrina-radford    
Research
Miss Lucena Neal Director St Nics
Christian PreSchool
Coogee
www.stnicschrisianpreschool.org.au
Community,
Stakeholder
Ms Kate Hogan Regional manager
(Sydney) Anglicare:
With many community contacts of older
people in the target
age group
https://www.anglicare.org.au/ 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-hogan-95156a129/?originalSubdomain=au 
Community,
Stakeholder
Ms Ebony Lewis Scientia PhD scholar,
research into frailty, ageing, registered nurse https://www.neura.edu.au/staff/ebony-lewis/
Research
Ms Kaileigh Asara Honours student UNSW Research

International Advisory Committee

Name Name, title,
qualifications
Role
Prof/Dr Ken Rockwood Global opinion
leader in frailty,
Geriatrician,
expertise in clinical medicine and
research
https://medicine.dal.ca/departments/department-sites/medicine/divisions/geriatric-medicine/our-people/faculty/kenneth-rockwood.html
Committee chair
Prof/Dr Nicola
Lautenschlager
Old age psychiatrist,
international
research reputation, exercise to reduce
risk of cognitive
decline,
implementation in
practice
https://findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/profile/211074-nicola-lautenschlager
Committee member
Prof/Dr Annecke
Fitzgerald
Research, change
management,
knowledge
translation,
workforce
sustainability,
intergenerational
care
https://www.griffith.edu.au/griffith-business-school/departments/business-strategy-innovation/contact-us/staff/professor-anneke-fitzgerald
Committee member
Prof/Dr Susan Kurrle Intergenerational
practice,
Geriatrician,
frailty expertise
https://www.sydney.edu.au/medicine-health/about/our-people/academic-staff/susan-kurrle.html 
Committee member
Prof/Dr Eva Kimonis Child psychology
https://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/contacts-people/academic-staff/associate-professor-eva-r-kimonis
Committee member
Assoc Prof/Dr Myra
Hamilton
Research, social
policy and ageing
https://www.sydney.edu.au/business/about/our-people/academic-staff/myra-hamilton.html  
Committee member
Dr George Kudrna Research, economic modelling and Ageing https://cepar.edu.au/dr-george-kudrna Committee member