Programs that increase cooperation, interaction or exchange between people of different generations dispelling stereotypes about old and young, and enabling individuals, families and communities to enjoy and benefit from the richness of an age-integrated society. Intergenerational programs are structured so that both age groups benefit from the interaction, but in many programs, one age group is the provider of service while the other is the recipient. Older people may mentor children or adolescents and serve as role models for young people who are preparing for adulthood, while students who understand the latest technology may teach older adults computer skills in their homes, senior centres or long term care settings. Older adults gain opportunities to develop meaningful contact with younger people and stay in touch with their communities while children and youth develop healthy attitudes about aging, gain an appreciation for rich cultural traditions and histories, and experience the satisfaction of sharing something they know. In many communities, young and old are working together as partners on community projects, and are finding that the collaboration leads to mutual appreciation while their communities reap the benefits of their work.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.