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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 4360305, 14 pages
Research Article

Intergenerational Programs Involving Adolescents, Institutionalized Elderly, and Older Volunteers: Results from a Pilot Research-Action in Italy

1IRCCS INRCA-National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing, Ancona, Italy
2IRCCS INRCA-National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Centre for Welfare Models and New Technologies, Ancona, Italy
3Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Sara Santini; ti.acrni@2initnas.s

Received 6 August 2018; Revised 8 November 2018; Accepted 27 November 2018; Published 5 December 2018

Academic Editor: Antonella Gigantesco

Copyright © 2018 Sara Santini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Changes in traditional family structures, public policy arrangements, and new family care patterns are reducing opportunities for interaction between younger and older people in Europe and in Italy, especially when the latter live in residential care facilities. This may bolster age-related stereotypes in both generations and end up with affecting older people’s self-confidence, devaluing their emotional and relational capabilities. “Let’s Re-Generate” is a pilot research-action project—based on an intergenerational program carried out in a nursing home in Central Italy—which aimed at prompting institutionalized older people and adolescents in the community to enhance intergenerational ties through various shared activities. Results from focus groups with 25 teenagers and in-depth interviews with 16 older residents and 16 older volunteers provide an in-depth insight on the positive impact of intergenerational programs, which foster the interaction between different ages, help overcome age-related stereotypes, and improve older people’s mental well-being and older volunteers’ generativity. The main recommendation emerging from this study is that intergenerational activities should be integrated in the daily routine of nursing homes, acting as useful tools for fostering older residents’ capability of reacting to dependency and social isolation.