Benefits and definitions
Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contribute to the building of more cohesive communities. Intergenerational practice is inclusive, building on the positive resources that the younger and older persons have to offer to each other and those around them. (Beth Johnson Foundation, 2009)
As the above definition suggests intergenerational work has to be reciprocal and therefore must generate benefit to more than just one generational group. It is important to also recognise the wider impacts of this valuable work. An intergenerational approach planned and delivered thoroughly can achieve very positive results addressing local community concerns, priorities, and challenges. Benefits can be much wider reaching than initially envisaged and it is important to remember to identify these as they happen.
Some benefits of intergenerational practice are as follows:
- Improved social connections: Intergenerational practice can help to build social connections and relationships between people of different ages, which can have numerous benefits for mental health and wellbeing.
- Increased understanding and respect: Intergenerational practice can help to increase understanding and respect between different generations, and can help to reduce negative stereotypes and prejudices.
- Enhanced learning and development: Intergenerational practice can provide valuable learning and development opportunities for both younger and older individuals, as they have the opportunity to learn from and teach one another.
- Improved health and wellbeing: Some studies have found that intergenerational practice can have positive impacts on health and wellbeing, including reduced feelings of loneliness and improved physical and mental health outcomes.
- Enhanced community cohesion: Intergenerational practice can help to build stronger, more inclusive communities by bringing people of different ages together and promoting understanding and cooperation.
- Increased opportunities for volunteering and civic engagement: Intergenerational practice can provide opportunities for individuals of all ages to get involved in volunteering and civic engagement, which can have numerous benefits for both the individual and the community.
We publish a monthly blog on our website which explores the different 'core principles' of intergenerational practice. Read here!