One for the ages as project closesgeneration gap

Local | Charlotte Luo 20 Sep 2019

Launched by the Chinese University last year, a four-year project aimed at boosting understanding between young and old generations has improved participants' health and lifestyles.

The Jockey Club Generation Connect Project aims to set up intergenerational solidarity and encourage contact among young people and the elderly through community activities such as culture and health programs.

A total of 520 people participated in 2018-19, including 234 aged 55 to 98 and 286 aged eight to 54.

The mid-term results found that participants' physical and mental health and lifestyles, including interpersonal relationships and stress management, had improved.

Yesterday, a project launch ceremony cum Symposium on "Connecting Generations for Health" was held to discuss and promote the project.

Francis Chan Ka-Leung, dean of the faculty of medicine, acknowledged the "weakening the intergenerational connection", and said it is vital to build an age-friendly society.

"We are aware of intergenerational communion, which helps to reinforce social skills and capital across generations to meet the challenges of the aging population in the 21st century. The project enables our students to take care of the elderly through practice, understand the feasibility and limitations of public health-care policies, and improve their capability to cope with the challenges of an aging society," he said.

Yeoh Eng-kiong, director of the Jockey Club school of public health and primary care, said that the aging population and an increasing number of chronic disease patients, along with the fact that most modern families are core families, have caused intergenerational relationships to become alienated.

"According to international academic research, if there are good relationships and mutual care among generations, the cohesiveness between generations can be strengthened and family unity and social harmony can be achieved, thereby promoting intergenerational physical and mental health," he said.

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