The Wisdom Exchange Project is an intergenerational social connection and knowledge exchange program for community-dwelling older adults, graduate trainees, and post-doctoral fellows currently residing in Ontario, Quebec and East Coast Provinces.
HOW IT WORKS
Intergenerational partners are screened to see if they are a good fit for our program and matched based on preferred language of communication, common interests, and other criteria. We make the initial introduction between partners, and then let them connect however works best for them.
This program provides friendly social connections between younger and older adults. This program does not provide mental health support or counselling services.
This program is not a research project or affiliated with an academic institution.
If you want to learn more about the program, get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT OUR PARTNERS HAVE TO SAY
From Trainee Partners:
"I have enjoyed the partnership that I have established with my partner. This program has connected me with someone who I would not have otherwise met with and who has now become a mentor to me, helping me grow professionally and personally. I really appreciate the person who I have been paired with."
"I like hearing about the research that other people from the program are involved in. I also like the engagement and discussion had around the topic."
From Older Adult Partners:
"Have made a fabulous friend. We laugh and share all kinds of interests & experiences."
"I am enjoying finding out about the life of someone at the beginning of theirs, and you accidentally paired me with someone who is going though some similar social and gender issues as I have dealt with in my own life. I don't lecture, but share stories of my own life that she can take courage and support from. As I live alone, during COVID I saw other people less than ten times and even now only one person fairly regularly and phone another every ten days or so, and having a new person in my life has greatly eased the loneliness."
"I like seeing the other members of the project and learning their stories.I found the one on cognitive problems as we age very enlightening."
The cornerstone of the Wisdom Exchange Project is intergenerational relationship building. Interested older adult and trainee partners are matched based on preferences, hobbies, and languages, and encouraged to remotely connect with each other on a weekly basis, however makes sense for them. These are informal, friendly connections, with the intention to make both partners feel a little less lonely and a little more supported.
On a monthly basis, trainees will have the opportunity to share their research with members of the Wisdom Exchange Program through seminars and blog posts. These knowledge exchange opportunities are a win-win. Older adults stay cognitively engaged in learning about new research directions. Trainees benefit from the thoughtful feedback provided by older adults and get to practice their scientific communication skills.
Our program is grounded in the principles of:
Partners are equals with uniquely valuable contributions to make and benefits to gain from participation
Being ourselves, and allowing others to do so, is how meaningful connections are made
Given the opportunity, the brain never stops learning, and we don't intend to let it.