Social Action: Linking Generations

Connecting youth and seniors through friendship

Social Action: Linking Generations

A new friend, a new connection, and the comfort of a shared laugh is much more important than we often realize, and we are never too young, or too old, to appreciate this. Developing friendships across all age groups can bring people together, enrich lives and enhance communities. Linking Generations is driving this idea forward, making a positive impact of the health and well-being for both seniors and youth.

Created in 2004 as a charitable organization, Linking Generations provides mentored and structured visits aimed at building relationships between local seniors and youth. The program brings generations together to share knowledge and life experiences and encourages volunteering and social responsibility in youth. Linking Generations creates connections between seniors and youth by nurturing friendships built through these virtual visits.

In the wake of the pandemic, Linking Generations is committed to providing virtual programs and support to help seniors better cope through the pandemic and day to day life in general. Debbie Sinclair, Executive Director, notes, “The past months reinforced how critical it is that our community seniors be connected to family and to friends. With severe visiting restrictions placed at all senior facilities, many seniors have had little or no contact with the outside world.”

The social action team interviewed a senior, Donna, and a youth, Abigail, involved with Linking Generations this year.

What is your favourite part of Linking Generations? Why is it important to you?

Donna: This is my first year involved with Linking Generations and I have loved every minute of it. I chat with two young ladies, and they have taught me so much, I really respect them. I think I was supposed to be teaching them, but it's the other way around! Talking with them I realized they gave me hope for the future. If this world has other people like these young ladies, then its going to be a wonderful place. I also think that a lot more people should get involved - I know a lot of seniors that would really enjoy this experience to learn something. We are never too old to learn!

What is your favourite part of Linking Generations? Why is it important to you?

Abigail: I love sharing stories and seeing what's the same and what's different in our experiences growing up. I like hearing what they did when they were young versus what we are up to now. I think it's important because I gain a little bit of experience through them. It's like having a friend at a different age and gives us a chance to have a unique relationship we don't often have a chance to form. Sometimes we have planned activities, and sometimes it's just sharing stories about our summer or playing Mad Libs. I'm really glad I joined this program - it's 100% worth it!

If you know a senior or youth that would like to get involved, please share! You can visit for more information.

Seniors' Week 2021 runs June 7 - 13. Celebrate with a drive-thru event Monday, June 7, and a Virtual Trade Fair on the County’s website all week long. Seniors and their families are also invited to provide their thoughts on seniors' supports and services in Strathcona County. Click here for more information. 

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