Bringing Students and Seniors Together: BCPGA Board Members Pilot Unique Project on Intergenerational Living

We are very proud of BCPGA board members Shannon Freeman and Dawn Hemingway for their work on InterAGE, a unique pilot project in which students live with residents in a care facility. It’s one of the first evidence-based studies of intergenerational living in Canada.

InterAGE—the Intergenerational Activities for Growth and Engagement project—is a unique research partnership between UNBC and Northern Health. Students spend part of each week over the course of their four-month semester living with residents at Northern Health’s Gateway Lodge during meals and different recreational events.

The program encourages students to reflect on aging, not only from their own perspective, but through the eyes of residents, too. The program also motivates residents to be more socially active. “We saw people engaged who had not regularly joined facility activities previously and we also had a higher number of residents than we expected regularly attending and participating in our class,” says Dr. Freeman, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at UNBC.

The InterAGE research project is one of the first of its kind in B.C. to compile evidence-based results on intergenerational living, as well as one of the first in the country.

Dr. Freeman and Prof. Hemingway are excited about the potential outcomes to not only improve senior health and quality of life in northern B.C. but also across Canada and beyond.

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