Can intergenerational relationships be useful at end of life?

There has been a surge in interest in intergenerational practice, policy and research over recent years however there is an area which has to date been under researched which has been identified by Dr Liz Forbat, Associate Professor in Ageing, University of Stirling.

GWT has been in conversation with Dr Forbat around developing a new research study: Intergenerational innovation: health promoting palliative care and death literacy in the care home setting.

Here is a brief introduction on the proposal so far:

Intergenerational is defined as that which occurs between groups which are separated by at least 20 years, and a raft of research and practice initiatives have focused on non-kin intergenerational relationships, to manifest social change. Developing collaborations between care homes for older people and nurseries for the under 5s, primary school children, teens, and wider age groups of children with complex needs have been areas of particular focus.

Less recognised and explored is how intergenerational relationships and their role plays in health promoting palliative care; that is, the increasing role of the wider community and self-management in supporting people who are in their last phase of life. Care homes often now operate as sub-acute units, with very frail older people often living with complex multiple morbidities. The impact of intergenerational relationships on beliefs about frailty, death and dying is ripe for exploration.

If you have experiences in this field and have been connecting younger people with people in the last 6 months of life or would like to get involved please get in touch with Alison Clyde.

13th September 2019