Linking Generations “Re-Living The Past ” Community Event

The Cause

Linking Generations (LG) was created in 2004 as a charitable organization whose purpose is to \"Bridge the Gap\" between generations. Linking Generations provides “mentored and structured visits” aimed at building relationships between seniors and youth in our community. The purpose of the program is to bring the generations together so they can share their knowledge and life experiences and to encourage volunteering and social responsibility in youth.

Our structured program opens the door for these generations to interact in a safe environment. Our youth begin to understand the incredible impact they have on another’s person’s life, their confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills are enhanced. Youth are learning from the past founders and leaders of our province with hands-on learning through the eyes of their senior friend. Seniors build new friendships with a young person, who is not a relative and who loves to hear their stories.

Linking Generations Programs continue to open new opportunities for seniors to interact with youth.

In our 2016-2017 program schedules, Linking Generations will host a Senior/Youth \"Re-Living The Past\" Community event. Our seniors and youth will gather as one group and experience being part of the community outside the care centers once again. Our group tour will help seniors relive the \"good old days\", and students will learn and experience through the eyes of their senior partner what lives were like many decades ago. Working with The Strathcona Museum and The Ukrainian Cultural Centre, groups will tour together to one site to see our living history museum and the history and culture of the past. Our seniors can share real stories of hardships and students will learn from our own local community members.

Who Will it Benefit?

There are currently 187 teenagers and seniors who benefit from our program. Specific data and ongoing research into the benefits of Intergenerational Programs is collected from LINKages, Alberta Seniors Association, The County of Strathcona Older Adults Research Project and the Reach Isolate Seniors Everywhere Campaign (RISE). All have identified the need for older adults to continue to contribute to their own communities. Social isolation and loneliness are major social, health and quality of life issues for older people. Linking Generations fills an essential need for emotional connections between youth and seniors. These connections result in an enhanced sense of purpose, overall well being, and quality of life for seniors. We address the need for Community Connectedness and Social Responsibility.

Linking Generations continues to reach out and offer community volunteer programs where the seniors can find new friendships with our youth and feel empowered once again. Many refer to Linking Generations in our community as the organization where kind souls connect. The resulting impact of the unique connections made between our youth and seniors has positive benefits for the family members of seniors and students as well as the staff at the care centres. You can feel the ‘joy’ in the air when the students arrive at the seniors’ centre. Even those seniors not involved in the program have huge smiles on their faces. These young people bring such energy into the seniors’ centres and give the seniors another reason to continue living. Senior Care facility staff share how the seniors feel more positive about life and have a better outlook in general. The student’s families are delighted with this opportunity for their children to connect with an elderly person, as many youth do not have grandparents in the community