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Title: Effects of an Intergenerational Health Promotion Program for Older Adults in Japan

Author (s):  Yoshinori Fujiwara, Naoko Sakuma, Hiromi Ohba, Mariko Nishi, Sangyoon Lee, Naoki Watanabe, Yoko Kousa, Hiroto Yoshida, Taro Fukaya, Satoru Yajima, Hindenori Amano, Yoichi Kureta, Kenji Ishii, Hayato Uchida, Shoji Shinkai

Abstract:  We launched a new intervention study called REPRINTS in which senior volunteers engaged in reading picture books to children. Sixty-nine volunteers and 72 participants in a control group, all aged 60 years and over, living in three urban locations, participated in a baseline health checkup in June 2004. After completion of a three-month training seminar, volunteers visited public elementary schools and kindergartens in groups of 6 to 10 for an 18 month period. They were assessed again by a follow-up health checkup in March 2006. At the follow-up, social network scores (frequency of contact with grandchildren and others around the neighborhood) and self-rated health improved or was maintained at a significantly higher rate for the 37 individuals volunteering most intensively as compared to those who did not volunteer or volunteered minimally. In conclusion, through intensively being engaged in the intergenerational volunteer programs during 21 months, self-rated health and social networks were more likely to improve or be maintained among senior volunteers than controls.

Category: Health and Wellness

Keywords: elderly housing, intergenerational relationships, literacy volunteers, lifelong learning, community building, volunteering, education

Reference: Fujiwara, Y., Sakuma, N., Ohba, H., Nishi, M., Lee, S., Watanabe, N. Kousa, Y., Yoshida, H., Fukaya, T., Yajima, S., Amano, H.,  Kureta, Y., Ishii, K., Uchida, H.  (2009). Effects of an Intergenerational Health Promotion Program for Older Adults in Japan. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 7(1): 17–39.

Peer-reviewed journal: yes

Link to Full Texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15350770802628901

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