Open Doors, Open Hearts: A Guide to Bringing Long-Term Care Residents and Young People Together

Open Doors, Open Hearts is a practical guide designed to help long-term care facilities and schools and youth organizations form partnerships and create intergenerational programs.

Download the Guide.

With commitment, planning, training, and creativity, these programs can be cost effective, meet the needs of individuals, and help to achieve institutional goals. This manual will take you through the steps involved in starting, sustaining, and enhancing intergenerational programs.

These exciting programs can do several important things:

  • Build understanding between young people and older adults
  • Promote greater appreciation for what people of different ages can give to one another
  • Foster development of meaningful relationships
  • Provide opportunities for youth and older adults to both give and receive support

Information is provided for people in the following areas:

Long-term care facilities

  • Activities directors and staff
  • Community outreach coordinators
  • Social workers
  • Administrators
  • Chaplains
  • Staff development coordinators
  • Volunteer coordinators
  • Volunteers
  • Student interns

Youth Organizations

  • Program coordinators
  • Executive directors
  • Chaplains
  • Volunteer coordinators


  • Teachers
  • Service-learning coordinators
  • Principals
  • Counselors
  • Creative arts teachers
  • Community service coordinators

The Community

  • Consulting artists
  • College and graduate student volunteers or interns
  • Collaborating museums, historical associations, and horticultural clubs