Interdisciplinary Fellow Ageing Futures Institute
02 8936 0598
Dr Kenning’s research focuses on ageing and dementia and how arts engagement and creativity can support physical and mental health and wellbeing. Her research and practice explores creativity from two perspectives:
Related publications: https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-gail-kenning/publications
Research areas: Anxiety, Depression, Resilience, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease
There is increasing evidence to show that intergenerational interaction is beneficial for older adults and children alike. Higher levels of social engagement in older adults have been associated with better physical and cognitive function and wellbeing. Time spent with older adults has been linked to enhanced social and personal skills in children. However, familial intergenerational interaction is falling despite rising numbers of community-based older adults. In Australia alone approximately 15% of the total population are aged 65 and over, up from 5% in the 1920s and estimated to increase to 22% (8.8 million) in the next 30-40 years. Employment and economic factors drive greater geographical mobility of working age adults, resulting in increased separation from older family members with 40% of Australians aged 75-84 and 51% of those 85 and over living alone. Recent television series in Australia and the United Kingdom, have raised awareness and enthusiasm for intergenerational activities as an opportunity that could be realised within communities. However, while intergenerational programs are gaining in popularity globally, evidence for best practice in this area remains scarce.
This project will build and pilot a novel, evidence-based, co-designed Intergenerational Program Development toolkit targeted for community use and tailored to an Australian environment.