This planning grant takes an innovative approach to health promotion in an aging population by capitalizing on the important role of social factors. Specifically, we will develop community-based intergenerational programs that harvest older adults' skills and needs to leave a lasting legacy while at the same time increasing leisure time physical activity such as "purposeful walking" as well as providing cognitive stimulation. Therefore, intergenerational programs have the potential for high "buy-in" because they contribute to older adults' purpose in life and simultaneously foster health-promoting behaviors that are well known to contribute to healthy aging.
The project stems from a need to develop sustainable programs that will promote the health of a growing population of older adults, while supporting the social and academic development of children from immigrant and low-income families.
This project will explore facilitators and barriers to intergenerational programming in the local context, from the perspectives of program administrators, parents of young children, and older adult program participants. We will do this through focus group discussions, a symposium, and participatory research methods. We will then use the knowledge gained to develop feasible, evidence-based implementation strategies for intergenerational programming that will, in turn, form the basis of a larger program implementation project.
Research Team: Dr. Christiane Hoppman/Ms. Sandra Petrozzi