Cognitive, health and social outcomes of a school-based intergenerational engagement intervention for community-residing older adults

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Intergenerational engagement activities that promote older people’s health and wellbeing can provide a means to promote social participation and healthy ageing. However, high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of intergenerational engagement is still limited. ‘Generation for Generation’ was a moderate-intensity, intergenerational engagement intervention designed to promote cognitive, health and social function in older adults. Participants assisted primary school teachers in the classroom by helping pupils aged 4-8 years with reading, writing and numeracy tasks, for 8 hours per week over six months. In total, 36 healthy older adults aged 60-80 years were recruited and randomised to an intervention or a wait-list control group. In this pilot randomised controlled trial, participants were assessed on three occasions (baseline, and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups). Overall, the intervention was associated with improvements in cognition (working memory, episodic memory, and auditory verbal learning), as well as in daytime functioning (stay awake/alert to carry out daily functions and engage in social activity), attitudes towards children, and sense of generative achievement (i.e. helping the younger generation). These benefits of engagement were reliably observed at 3 months and were maintained at 6 months. These results offer promising, preliminary evidence suggesting that moderate-intensity participation in a community-based intergenerational engagement intervention focused around cognitive stimulation can be an effective health promotion initiative.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021
EventThe 6th international Conference of Aging & Cognition by EUCAS - Online, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 15 Apr 202115 Jun 2021


ConferenceThe 6th international Conference of Aging & Cognition by EUCAS
Abbreviated titleAging & Cognition 2021
OtherThis conference series aims to stimulate research in the domain of cognitive aging and related research fields in Europe by bringing together European and non-European scientists. Cognition is defined in the broadest sense, including sensory, cognitive, motor and emotional aspects. Whereas cognition and cognitive neuroscience for healthy aging are the main focus of the conference series, an additional focus targets interventions aimed at influencing age-related cognitive deficits.
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  • cognitive
  • health
  • social
  • outcomes
  • school-based
  • intergenerational
  • engagement
  • intervention
  • community-residing
  • older adults


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