The idea of intergenerational relationships was established in Calgary long before Intergenerational Day was announced last year. LINKages Society of Alberta, a United Way supported organization, was founded in 1994 on that very principle.
The organization connects young people with seniors for mutually beneficial relationships through school programs and community initiatives. Some programs even connect university students with seniors who need a help at home—the student lives in the home for reduced rent, and the senior profits from an extra pair of hands around the house.
For Intergenerational Day, LINKages is hosting a celebration of generations at the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness on June 1. They boast a fanfare of games, entertainment and food for all attendees between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Here are some ideas for observing Intergenerational Day:
If you have a few seconds:
- Make eye contact and smile with somebody outside your age group
- Say hi and ask how they’re doing
- Hold the door open for them
- Offer them your seat on the bus or train
If you only have five minutes:
- Call and ask how they’re doing.
- Sit and have a conversation at the bus stop
- Buy a couple flowers and give them out
If you have 30 minutes:
- Go to the park together
- Go for a short walk together
- Write a thank you in a card
- Make them lunch
- Watch their favourite show together
If you have an hour or two:
- Go out for a meal together
- Go see a movie together
- Play a game together, like cards or Scrabble
—Jodi Egan is a marketing and communications intern at United Way of Calgary and Area