Manitoba launches Age-Friendly Intergenerational Initiative

Focuses on respectful relationships between youth, seniors
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/06/2011

Manitoba is launching an initiative to help organizations that work with youth and schools to become age-friendly.

"Our goal is to support meaningful and respectful interactions between generations by increasing youth awareness of the aging process and creating respectful intergenerational relationships," said Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors Minister Jim Rondeau. "We will also provide support to youth and senior-serving organizations to implement and integrate intergenerational programs."

Under the Age-Friendly Intergenerational Initiative (AFII), a provincial co-ordinator will work with teachers and community leaders to create opportunities for children, youth and older adults to connect on an ongoing basis, said Rondeau. The province will also provide opportunities for children and youth to receive age-appropriate, introductory education regarding attitudes on aging and stereotypes.

"Promoting positive intergenerational relationships will help to address stereotypes about aging leading to respectful and safe communities," said David Butler-Jones, chief public health officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). "Manitoba's Age-Friendly Intergenerational Initiative is an exciting step forward in connecting generations."

PHAC has also funded the creation of an educational toolkit called Across the Generations: Respect all Ages and a video called Seniors are Cool! These resources provide age-appropriate information about elder abuse and are among the tools used by educators and youth programs to foster respectful intergenerational relationships and create positive images of aging, said Rondeau.

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