IFA Age-friendly Updates
Age-Friendly Environments Mentorship Programme
In partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the IFA is pleased to launch the first-ever cohort of the Age-Friendly Environments Mentorship Programme (MENTOR-AFE). This programme is for individuals who have the potential to gain significantly from mentoring and whose actions can have a significant impact within their communities. 

The selected mentees hold leadership roles within their community’s age-friendly initiative and have identified their priorities for skills development and local project work. Mentees have been matched with mentors who possess these desired skills along with experience in training, coaching, and promoting the professional development of others. This year, mentoring will be offered in English, Spanish, and French. MENTOR-AFE officially began at the start of September and will continue for one year until August, 2019.
Older human rights champions today were born around the time of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. They are as diverse as the society in which they live: from older people advocating for human rights at the grass root and community level to high profile figures on the international stage. Each and every one demands equal respect and acknowledgement for their dedication and commitment to contributing to a world free from fear and free from want.

This year the IFA calls on members to support the 2018 theme, which aims to:
  • Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what it means in the daily lives of older persons;
  • Raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately;
  • Reflect on progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons; and
  • Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights at all stages of life.

Celebrate the International Day of Older Persons on social media using the following hashtags: #IDOP2018 #standup4humanrights #olderHRchampions #ageingequal

Learn more about the International Day of Older Persons by clicking here .
2018-2019 WHO / IFA Webinars
The WHO / IFA webinar series on age-friendly environments (AFE) will return in the coming months! Look out for updates, including registration information.

To view previous webinars in the series, click on the button below.
Older LGBTQI People Call to Action
Show your commitment to developing and implementing policies, programs and services that promote the rights of older LGBTQI people. 
Interested in signing on behalf your organization? Contact Hannah Girdler for more information!
Sewing for Ages - Intergenerational Program
Submitted by Christy S. Tosh
Age-Friendly Community Project Lead
County of Simcoe
Sewing for Ages Intergenerational Program was initiated by Jan Sparling, a retired nurse and dedicated volunteer at the County of Simcoe, Sunset Manor Long Term Care home in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. 

Jan noticed that the needs of our resident population were changing and saw an opportunity to engage both young and old by proposing a mutually beneficial Sewing for Ages intergenerational program at Sunset Manor.

The Sewing for Ages program at Sunset Manor has been in motion since last Fall. Young children were taught the skill of sewing on machines at an introductory level. The program was held in a common area setting where our residents were welcome to observe and join in. Over an eight-week period, the children, with the support of residents, worked diligently on creating customized fidget blankets. They made polar fleece lap-sized blankets covered in items like patches, pockets, zippers, buttons and small toys. Their intended recipients were residents suffering from dementia. Participants were instructed on how to sew a customized fidget blanket with the intent of presenting their handmade gift to a resident living in the Home.

The increased interest expressed from the community testified to the success of this program. The Sewing for Ages program is now being expanded to two evening sessions per eight-week period so more children can participate. This time around the children will get a tour of the home and engage with the residents prior to making their blankets so they can build a small rapport beforehand. The word has quickly spread in our community that intergenerational programs are fun and enrich the lives of both kids and residents. Since its inception, the Sewing for Ages intergenerational program has increased its programming and has received donations of sewing machines and fabric from the surrounding community.

Age-Friendly Island
Submitted by
Wilma Jackson
Learning and Legacy Manager
Age UK Isle of Wight

Age Friendly Island is a programme based on the Isle of Wight, and is part of the 14 BIG Lottery funded Ageing Better Programme areas in England. Age Friendly Island delivers a programme of activities aimed at reducing social isolation in the over 50s, and is part of the WHO Global network for Age Friendly Cities and Communities. 

One of the elements of the Programme focuses on encouraging intergenerational activity to reduce social isolation. The team has a member of staff dedicated to ensuring that younger and older communities have a greater understanding of each other and how they can learn from, and support each other. The Programme facilitates this by giving talks in schools and colleges and bespoke lessons delivered over a number of weeks. To date the team has engaged with 67% of the schools on the island and around 6000 individual children between 5 and 18.

One of the tools used to change young people’s perceptions of ageing and older people is ‘Age Friendly’ training, using a special suit and glasses etc. so that younger people can obtain real insight into how ageing can affect you physically.

They created a very powerful film of how younger people meeting older people can overcome some of the common preconceptions. The film is shown during school assemblies and classes as well as to professionals to show how intergenerational barriers can be overcome.

The team also recruit, train and support young volunteers (usually 16-18 year olds), to give emotional and physical support to older people in both community and home based environments e.g. befriending, IT lessons and support for day to day activities.

One of the successful outcomes of Programme’s work to date has been that evaluation data is showing that the Island is a good place to grow old.
Submitted by
Caroline Goset
Service Egalité des Chances et Citoyenneté  
Mons, Ville Amie des Aînés
Du lundi 23 avril au vendredi 4 mai 2018, la Ville de Mons labélisée Ville Amie des Aînés s’est jointe aux communes wallonnes et bruxelloises qui ont fait un pari intergénérationnel en choisissant de devenir actrices des « Carrefours des Générations ».

Le Conseil Consultatif des Aînés a impulsé la dynamique et proposé à plusieurs ambassadeurs montois d’organiser ensemble cet événement.
Au programme extérieur : 4 après-midis ont été proposées aux petits et grands
- une balade découverte de la biodiversité dans le Bois d’Havré
- un atelier culinaire à la Bonne Maison de Bouzanton
- une balade à vélo dans Mons
- un spectacle de magie et de ventriloquie au parc communal de Jemappes

De nombreuses activités ont également été proposées dans 5 structures d’accueil communales de la petite enfance (en y conviant les grands-parents) et 6 maisons de repos de l’entité montoise en collaboration avec des écoles primaires et structures extrascolaires environnantes.
Pour ne citer que quelques activités : animation autour de livres créés par nos partenaires sur l’histoire des métiers, atelier de danse, représentation de fête scolaire d’élève de primaire, atelier lecture pour les bébés, défilé du géant « Achille » du folklore de Messines réalisé par des élèves, ateliers de djembé, jeux anciens, ateliers de massages pour bébés, …

Nous remercions chaleureusement tous nos partenaires :
La Police de Mons-Quévy, Pro Velo, Kids’chenette, les Femmes Prévoyantes Socialistes de Jemappes, les Porteuses de Projets de Jemappes, Hainaut Seniors de Mons, les Femmes Prévoyantes Socialistes de Mons, l’Amicale des Pensionnés de Mons, le Dynamusée, la maison de repos « Bonne Maison de Bouzanton », l’école communale Achille Legrand, la maison de repos et de soins d’Havré, l’école communale d’Havré, la résidence Léopold de Ghlin, l’école communale de Ghlin (Barigand), S.A.J.A Les Liserons, l’Asbl La Persévérance dit « Maison Emilie », la résidence des Chartriers de Mons, l’école communale du Rossignol, la maison de repos « La Reposée » de Cuesmes, les Foyers Saint-Joseph de Mons, l’école Saint-Ferdinand de Jemappes, l’école communale des Canonniers, la crèche le Nid Douillet, la crèche de Mons, la MCAE Cité P’tit, la MCAE Bébé Lune, la crèche du petit jardin des fées.

Vu le succès rencontré, le service Egalité des Chances renouvellera sa participation à l’opération « Carrefour des Générations » l’an prochain!

Informations au 065/412 380 - egalitedeschances@cpas.mons.be
Adopt-A-Grandparent Day in London, Ontario, Canada
Submitted by
Tracy Drenth, Supervisor
Children & Fire Services
City of London
On September 7, 2018, three days before National Grandparent’s Day, eight older adult residents from Windermere On The Mount Retirement Residence took a bus to the Family Centre Fanshawe, in order to participate in an event called ‘ Adopt A Grandparent Day ’.  
The City of London, in partnership with London Children’s Connection, Age Friendly London, and Windermere On The Mount, created the event to provide the older adults, who may not have grandchildren nearby, an opportunity to interact with children in a fun and meaningful event. The older adults, after having an opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee, were introduced to 11 toddlers and young children between the ages of 2.5-5 years from Cedar Hollow Children’s Centre.
During the hour and a half event, the older adults and children performed and sang songs that they had prepared for each other and participated in various activities together, including a Play Doh and colouring station and a fun craft that one of the older adults had created and brought with her. Together, they also decorated and ate cookies, read stories, and the older adults performed a puppet show. 
Instant bonds were created between the older adults and children, with a lot of smiles, laughs and hugs. Prior to leaving, each older adult received a thank you note, with a picture inside coloured by one of the children. Due to its overwhelming success, plans are already in motion to make this a regular intergenerational event at the Family Centre Fanshawe.
Adopt-a-Scientist Program
Submitted By
Laura Greaves
Age-Friendly Coordinator
City of Sarnia
Adopt-a-Scientist is an educational program that brings local expert volunteers with real-world experience in science, engineering, environmental and technical fields into classrooms across Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent to share their love of science with students.

Volunteers work with local educators to create hands-on, interactive demonstrations about topics that correspond to the Ontario curriculum. By nurturing an interest in science at the elementary level, they hope that the number of students who continue to study, and ultimately work in, science-related fields will increase.

In the 2016-2017 school year, 23 volunteers worked with 122 teachers to presented the Adopt-a-Scientist program in 53 schools in the Lambton Kent and St. Clair Catholic District School Boards. Recently, the program was expanded to include Adopt-a-Farmer, a chance for local farmers to share their knowledge and expertise in agriculture with elementary school students.

The Adopt-a-Scientist program is coordinated by the Science Education Partnership (SEP). The SEP office and storage space are housed at Errol Road Public School in Sarnia. The SEP also provides educators with hands-on science materials and education kits and organizes additional science education programs that celebrate and promote science and technology learning within Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham Kent schools.

Adopt-a-Scientist volunteers attend monthly meetings to review their current programs, brainstorm new offerings and discuss ways to continue to grow this program. Their goal is to foster and encourage a society with greater scientific literacy.

The Community Training and Development Centre
Submitted by
Madelaine Currelly
Cobourg and Port Hope are rural communities that have great appeal to retiring seniors.

Northumberland County and the town of Port Hope completed an extensive Age Friendly Communities survey and interviewed 700+ seniors.

 The outcomes included:
  • Seniors wanted to actively contribute to their communities;
  • Seniors did not know how best they could contribute and what process to follow;
  • Seniors were not aware of all the local resources and opportunities that exist for social and community engagement.

These insights prompted The Community Training and Development Centre to apply to the province for funding in order to create a social engagement solution for seniors, and newly arrived residents of Port Hope and Cobourg.

The solution became a Challenge called “Networked Communities”.
Under the direction of an advisory committee made up of local seniors, we employed seniors and youth to contact local organizations, businesses and local resources, representing a large number of categories such as , environment, education, health, sport, fitness, fashion, art, etc.

Each organization provided a contact person and process to make the initial connection an easy process for seniors.

The Challenge is administered through an App, which contains a preliminary assessment to determine interests, and based on the answers sends a daily challenge to the senior’s phone. Tasks are used to provide continuous motivation.

The issues of social isolation can become a serious concern for health and well-being. Our first attempt at a solution is our “Networked Communities” Challenge that is currently undergoing beta testing by local seniors.

For more information, please contact M. Currelly in Cobourg 905-372-9967 
Intergenerational Summer Camps in Spain
Submitted by
Pilar Suárez, PhD
Idea Innovaci ón

For more than ten years, from Forum Qpea , we organize intergenerational camps where for a week, children from 8 to 12 years-old, share a week with the older people who live in a nursing home. Children sleep in the residence or in tents, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with the elderly, and carried out all the activities of the centre all together.

The results that we have obtained in all our editions, is the improvement of the mood and the cognitive function of all our residents, and from the children, an increase in the sensitivity of the aging and the demystification of misconceptions that these children with this age have in relation to the geriatric centers, dementia and the elderly in general.

We believe that with these camps change the “minds” of the children, and our main goal, is that in the future, these children will have more respect, love and vocation to treat elderly people, and this is one of the pillars we have to develop for the aging of the worldwide population.

Click here to view the brochure.
Alzheimer Society of Durham Region Intergenerational Choir
Submitted by
Laura Clements
ASDR Recreation Coordinator
What do you get when you mix high school performing arts students with older adults who have memory loss in a choir? A fusion of melody, magic and renewed memories of treasured songs from bygone times! 

For the past few years, clients from Alzheimer Society of Durham Region (ASDR) have joined forces with a local performing arts high school, Oshawa’s O’Neill C.V.I, to sing in a weekly choir at the school. Students are paired up with an older adult to get to know one another, and then sit together as they go through a typical singing class, including vocal warm-ups, practicing songs, and culminating in a seasonal concert to family and friends.

The choral director, the very talented and engaging Erin Collins, was sold on the idea even before it even started, as her former choral teacher himself has lead another Alzheimer intergenerational choir in London, Ontario for a few years before this choir started. In spite of now living with Alzheimer’s disease, he and his choir continue to thrive despite the diagnosis. This touching connection drew Erin to the project, as is evident from the effort and enthusiasm she brings to class. The final concerts are always a smash hit, as videos of our concerts on ASDR’s website can attest.

No auditions are required for Alzheimer participants or their care partners, and in fact the focus is on having fun and the joyful benefits of singing in a group, such as: evoking pleasant memories of the past, social stimulation, self-esteem and just plain fun! Participant’s feedback (students and adults) has been overwhelmingly positive, such as “life-changing experience” and “one of the most uplifting things we could do”. This Intergenerational choir project has been a very positive success for all involved.
Using Mock Crime Scenes to Promote Intergenerational Teaching and Learning
Submitted by
Kimberly Farah and Joann Montepare, Lasell College, Newton MA USA
Lasell College (Massachusetts, USA) has recently become an Age-Friendly University (AFU) partner. As part of our age-friendly educational efforts, we have been developing intergenerational opportunities for engagement across academic programs and disciplines – especially those that are “unlikely suspects”. One example of such an activity involves faculty, students, and residents of Lasell Village (our campus affiliated retirement community) teaming up to make a forensic science course more case-oriented, empirical, and intergenerational in practice.

In this course, a group of residents volunteer to use their passion for “murder mysteries” to write a mock crime scenario. The scene is staged (yellow crime tape included) at Lasell Village where the residents work together with the instructor to plant evidence for students to gather to solve the crime. Students interview possible “suspects” about the fictional crime as they collect blood stains, footprints, hair and handwriting samples, and examine other physical evidence found at the scene. 

With evidence in hand, students move into the forensics laboratory to analyze the evidence, with residents on hand to observe and assist. When their analyses are completed, students prepare a detailed presentation based on their interpretation of the evidence. The case concludes with students reporting their “who do it” findings to an audience of Lasell Village residents who are invited to question the evidence and the charge.

Feedback for this intergenerational project has been overwhelmingly positive. Resident and students enjoy their unique roles and the opportunity to use their sleuth skills to build a shared learning experience. The experiential nature of the case project has also proven to be a valuable tool for teaching forensic science. The presentation of the case is always well-attended and engaging, with everyone eager to know when the next CSI: Lasell episode will take place!
The REAL (Reading and Educating to Advance Lives) Program 
Submitted by
Leah Bradley,
Senior Director,
JCA Heyman Interages Center
Dr. Erin Smith, Performance and Data Manager,
Area Agency on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland, United States of America
The REAL (Reading and Educating to Advance Lives) Program is a partnership between the Jewish Council for the Aging’s Heyman Interages® Center (Interages), the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Eligibility and Support Services (HHS), and the County’s Public Libraries (MCPL). REAL transforms the time children (predominately ages 2-5) spend waiting at HHS service centers into a fun and educational experience, as Interages volunteers, who are 50+, read and engage children and families in literacy and healthy living activities.

REAL’s goal is to enhance language, literacy, and healthy habits of children through reading, play, and book distribution. REAL endeavors to boost adult family members’ ability to support children’s development by providing model behaviors and printed information. 

The four HHS service centers have volunteers who visit weekly in two-hour shifts to read with children, engage in educational games, and select developmentally appropriate activities, such as shape and color pattern games, fruit and vegetable identification, coloring, and puppet storytelling. Volunteers present each child with an age-appropriate book to take home. MCPL staff provide information on library services and cards, enroll children in the summer reading program, and maintain children’s books at the service centers.

REAL creates a rewarding and stimulating community engagement opportunity for volunteers through connecting with children and their community in a critical, tangible, and meaningful way. Volunteers are trained by Interages, HHS, and MCPL staff on skills, including early literacy principles, communication and intergenerational interactions, and accommodating children of different ages and diverse cultures.

Since REAL’s implementation in May 2016, the program has served more than 3,600 youth and their families. The 24 volunteers have provided approximately 1,500 hours of volunteer work at the four HHS sites. Volunteers have distributed almost 1,000 books and provided access to more than 2,000 books through MCPL. 
Niños, jóvenes y mayores juntos: “Habil.e.dades” y “Canas y canicas”
Submitted by
Irene López de Torres
Unidad Técnica Oficina del Mayor
El proyecto Habil.e.dades, comenzó en 2009 y se realiza conjuntamente con la Escuela de Jardinería el Pinar del ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, donde se trabaja con jóvenes con discapacidad física y/o intelectual leve y problemas de inserción social. El objetivo principal es impulsar las relaciones intergeneracionales como instrumento facilitador para la adquisición de habilidades sociales y relacionales. Los mayores voluntarios, pasada una jornada de formación al principio del curso, acuden a la Escuela una mañana por semana, y allí realizan actividades con los jóvenes tanto de jardinería como de otro tipo para la adquisición de habilidades sociales de los alumnos/as. La finalidad principal es promover la integración socio-laboral de jóvenes con dificultades funcionales que les impiden un adecuado proceso de integración, y la participación social y el enriquecimiento personal de los mayores.

El proyecto Canas y Canicas es un programa de relación intergeneracional y multicultural, que lleva funcionando desde el año 2012, a través del cual un grupo de voluntarios de los centros de convivencia de mayores están durante todo el curso escolar apoyando y ayudando en sus hábitos de estudio a alumnos de Educación Primaria de entre 7 y 12 años. Entre otros objetivos, Canas y canicas pretende inculcar el hábito de estudio como una fórmula de disciplina personal y voluntad de trabajo entre los alumnos además de ayudar en su integración. Así como acercarles a esos niños/as la figura del abuelo/a que por su situación personal o no los tienen o se encuentran lejos y no mantienen contacto directo con ellos/as.
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