Research into the benefits of intergenerational programs suggests there are benefits for all ages including people living in aged care facilities, families, young children & aged care employees who have the opportunity to engage in intergenerational play.
While seniors enjoy the sense of fun and energy that young children can bring, and to share their value through lifelong knowledge and experience – children develop social skills and awareness, empathy, gentleness, and unbounded love through an extension of family. For parents, they receive social and peer support through shared experiences, relationships and bonds with older generations.
Research and Evidence
Research continues to highlight the benefits of play and relationships in supporting the best start to life for children and families, while wellbeing studies report the benefits of physical and mental activity for aging population – through intergenerational initiatives like Ageless Play we are combining the two – increasing positive intergenerational outcomes to support a more connected, inclusive community without ageism.
“Intergenerational programs bring together older and younger people for the purpose of providing meaningful social roles, to allow participants to utilize their experiences and skills, and to give participants more chances to experience the pleasure and excitement that occurs with the transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to another.” 
There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the benefits of intergenerational programs. Participation in intergenerational activities:
- increases the dignity and self-esteem of older people living with dementia 
- increased social interaction and enables the development of relationships between multi generations 
- promotes social inclusion 
- increases passive engagement and enjoyment among aged care residents 
- acts as a mechanism for engaging older people in occupational therapy 
- provide benefits to children in terms of their development and ability to self-regulate 
- development of mentor roles for children 
- pro-social interactions combined with educational experiences have shown to reduce school-based problem behaviours .
Support our research
We continue to assess the sustainability of intergenerational playgroups, and the capacity of the program to remain responsive to the community. If you are interested in learning more about our research, contributing to the research or simply telling us what these playgroups mean to you and your community, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us below to share in the conversation.
“With the right tools, an intergenerational playgroup is relatively easy to establish, and yet the far-reaching, positive benefits between young and old are remarkable,”
Wendy, Diversional Therapist, Catholic Healthcare Villa Maria Centre, Brisbane.
 Radford, Gould, Vecchio & Fitzgerald, 2018: 302; citing Wadsworth & Whitehouse, 2007.
 Skropeta, Colvin & Sladen, 2014.
 Cohen & Waite-Stupiansky, 2017.
 Airey & Smart, 2015; Williams, Renehan, Cramer & Lin, 2012.
 Whitten, Vecchio, Radford & Fitzgerald 2017
 Femia, Zarit, Blair, Jarrott & Bruno, 2008.
 Skropeta et al., 2014
 Cummings, Williams, & Ellis 2004 cited in Whitten, Vecchio, Radford & Fitzgerald, 2017