'Meet My Hamilton': An intergenerational social program
‘Meet My Hamilton’ is the latest addition to a suite of virtual activities offered by the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) this fall. Its aim: to bring students and older adults from the Hamilton community together, even during times of physical distancing as a result of COVID-19. ‘Meet My Hamilton’ will give students and older community members the opportunity to learn from each other, and share their interests and life experiences. This virtual intergenerational programming will provide students with a unique volunteer opportunity to add to their resume and gain experience working and communicating with older adults.
In all MIRA-led virtual intergenerational activities, students will share time and engage with a community member over the age of 65 over video-conferencing during the Winter Term. Programming will include casual conversations, as well as organized games and programs, and provide opportunities to explore various topics and activities together. MIRA will organize the activities and students will be provided with a brief orientation to best facilitate making these connections.
Ultimately, we hope that this programming will give students and their conversation partners a chance to establish new friendships and learn from each other’s life experiences.
This program is open to any undergraduate student currently enrolled at McMaster University. This program may be of particular interest to students who are interested in community engagement, volunteering and leadership, healthy aging and working with older adults. However, even if your area of focus doesn’t include any of the above, ‘Meet My Hamilton’ offers a unique opportunity for any students looking to meet new people in the Hamilton community.
The winter session of the program will begin January 2020 and will take place every other week, from January to April. Programming will be offered in two time slots, on Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. While we expect most people will want to chat for around 45 minutes to an hour, online programming allows everyone the flexibility to chat a little longer if you’d like as well!
Meet My Hamilton’ will be offered through Zoom where students and community members will have the option to participate through video or phone.
What will you get out of the program?
A large percentage of Canadians will soon be over 65 years of age, and building strong social connections with this age group will position participating students well for future career opportunities involving older adults. Students will be able to complete one of the pillars of the McMaster Passport for Aging Education (macPAGE) certificate program using their hours from this program, which will help them share the skills they have learned with future employers and opportunities. This program will give all participants the unique opportunity to develop intergenerational communication skills, connect with their community, and stay connected while learning from home.
Are you interested?
Allison Ward | Project Manager