Projects which bring together members of different generations have been developed in the past thirty years, particularly in the US, and their effectiveness has been evaluated and researched. In the UK, interest in intergenerational practice has grown significantly over the last few years. Despite the amount of positive feedback which is presented in media outlets and through word of mouth, there are several caveats and considerations which should be further explored before embarking on an intergenerational journey…
From a practice perspective, it is essential that both negative and positive findings are shared widely so that project leaders can avoid past mistakes and draw on the successful features of projects. For example, projects may be less successful if an appropriate strategy is not developed to include the right type of person in the project, both young and old. Project providers may find that including suitable adults can be difficult in intergenerational projects aimed at bringing together teenagers and adults who view 'hanging around' to be a problem. In these circumstances it may be beneficial to build in activities where the different age groups initially work separately preparing them to work in a more collaborative way later in the project. Similarly, in regards to the care home population, advanced thought must be given to educating younger children about the process of ageing, age-related illness and death in this setting prior to any activity taking place.
This workshop will explore the importance of sharing lessons learned along the path of an intergenerational journey, and some of the practicalities involved in setting up and running projects in care homes.