2:15 - 2:30 | Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation Through Intergenerational Programs in the Time of Corona
This presentation showcases the transition of intergenerational in-person programs into activities that connect youth and older adults while maintaining public health requirements that preclude being physically together. Link Generations used the pandemic to pilot a conversation-based program on Zoom with middle, high school, and college students and older adults isolated by the pandemic. Since March 2020, people of all ages have felt the social isolation of being physically separated. This session describes the methodology used to transform our program to be consistent with CDC social distancing guidelines. We describe the pilot project, evaluation tools, and data collected to show that this program still works to decrease loneliness and social isolation. As one 94 year old participant said when we could meet in person, “This program works. We don’t always know how it’s going to work, but it always works.” We used her guiding words to get us through the pandemic.
Speakers: Lori Marks, Link Generations
2:30 - 2:45 | Honing Teen Leadership Skills to Make the World a Better Place for Seniors
Ovation Communities in Milwaukee Wisconsin has inspired teens from diverse backgrounds to get involved as members of a new teen board created to help bridge the generation gap and inspire others to make the world a better place. Through monthly meetings teens gain leadership experience, learn about many topics related to the life of a senior including ageism and careers in geriatrics, connect with seniors, get involved in fundraising, plan programming, and make new friends. Senior residents serve on the board as our Resident Advisory Committee. During this session the purpose and benefits of a teen board will be discussed. Participants will gain knowledge about how to start a teen board and will leave with an action plan for this meaningful and life changing way to engage both teens and seniors and improve the life of others.
Speakers: Julie Shlensky, Ovation Communities
2:45 - 3:00 | Engaging Communities to Foster and Strengthen Intergenerational Connections to Overcome Inequities During COVID-19 and Beyond
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Concilio CDS Inc. has engaged communities to assist in reassurance calls, no-contact deliveries of essentials, socially distanced/mail delivered artworks for maintaining connections within families and community. These activities have strengthened social networks that are assisting in reducing anxiety, depression, loneliness, and stress during the pandemic, especially rural communities that do not have abundant technological resources. Prioritizing the direct human connection that is not reliant on technological resources, communities, especially communities of color, that face various inequities can utilize their skills and passions to build community capacity to create positive lasting change. Thus, intergenerational connections are our greatest resource in combating issues of social isolation, poverty, and health, in critical and the transitional period that our communities are facing for the new normal. And so, fostering, sustaining, and strengthening intergenerational connections will build resilient communities in the face of COVID-19, the new normal, and any other challenges.
Speakers: Josefina Mata, Concilio CDS Inc. | Lizbeth Mata, Concilio CDS Inc.
Lori N. Marks, PhD is Founder and Executive Director of Link Generations. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Gerontology at University of Maryland Global Campus.
As the Jewish Home and Care Center's Posner Chair for Intergenerational Programming for the past 7 years Julie has been involved in bringing together senior residents and children/young adults ranging in age from newborn through college age. Julie has a B.S. in Elementary Education, an M.S. in Exceptional Education and a Masters in Social Work. Prior to joining Ovation Communities Julie worked as a social worker, counselor, and group leader for young adults and their families with developmental disabilities. She has a great deal of experience with the very young, the very old and those in between. Julie has also been active in religious education for almost 40 years.
Concilio CDS Inc.
Josefina Mata has 30 year of experience working in the not-for-profit field and experience includes implementation of successful programs in New Mexico and West Texas for SeniorCorps Programs, AmeriCorps Programs, Community Health, Civic Engagement, Cultural and other state-wide, national and bi-national projects. She has a Master's Degree in Business Administration (2002), Master's Degree in Public Health (1999), Master's Degree in Family, Child & Consumer Science (1994), and Bachelor's Degree in Family, Child & Consumer Science (1991). Ms. Mata has been appointed by the NM Governor for the Serve Commission and Ms. Mata serves in the National Senior Corps Association Board.
Concilio CDS Inc.
Lizbeth Mata graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts