Topic: Bridging the Distance and investing in intergenerational practice research. A funded, 2 year sector collaboration with Griffith University

Day: Monday 12 October

Time:  3:30pm-4:00pm AEDT


Aged Care – Investing into intergenerational learning via digital technology
Shared stories for mutual benefit
COVID 19 has put unprecedented stresses on the aged care system to cope with social distancing, increasing family demands for quality care at a distance, and the increased complexity that COVID 19 has put on the health care needs of residents in aged care homes.
In Australia, COVID 19 restrictions have also ceased any planned large gathering activities within residential aged care homes that would normally occur to benefit residents, including those that were designed to improve social, physical, and psychological wellbeing of residents. Resulting in a significant lapse in social and behavioural interactions amongst residents that would normally occur which may impact their overall mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
Our research will examine if and how intergenerational programs could provide purposeful virtual interactions between older adults and children using web-based communication methods. Building on recent best practice this research will aim to establish an evidence based Intergenerational virtual learning model. With such research it also hoped that this will add to the development of an Australian Intergenerational practice hub.
This presentation will present an overview of our planned 2-year study which is designed to trial a virtual intergenerational program between older adults and school children, using video conferencing.
Griffith University has partnered with not-for-profit aged care provider, Mercy Care of Western Australia, to explore how we can foster meaningful engagement and bonds between the young and old.
Co-funded by the Cromwell Property Group Foundation, this 2-year research study aims to establish an evidence base for the impacts of a new model of intergenerational learning in today’s COVID-19, socially-distanced environment, using digital technology to strive for mutually beneficial engagement for all stakeholders involved.
This new virtual model will be trialled as a socially distanced learning pilot, using teams and video conferencing equipment, to connect the intergenerational participants ensuring that linkages across the generations can be maintained in the current environment and beyond.
The research will generate the evidence to inform the advancement of operational guidelines for the development and implementation of a mutually beneficial intergenerational learning program in Australia. We believe that creating intergenerational programs will provide purpose, improve the overall experience of ageing and create age friendly communities, resulting in a range of benefits for children and parents, the elderly, and their carers, as well as, the workforce and society as a whole.





Gabriela Di Perna
Bachelor of Arts in Business (1st Class Hons)
Marketing Diploma

An experienced research fellow, project manager and consultant with a passion for Intergenerational Practice research, specialising in strategic management and execution of customer service delivery in the not for profit sector and winner of the WA 2020 LASA Age Services Awards (Next Gen Young Leader).

Gabriela is currently project managing a two year Intergenerational Research Collaboration between sector organisations in WA and Griffith University, funded by the Cromwell Property Group Foundation.

Gabriela has previously worked at Mercy Care as senior manager in Aged Care after working with BaxterLawley as Principal Consultant across the not-for-profit sector and Project Managing the National Performance Benchmark Study on behalf of UWA, in partnership with National Disability Services.

Gabriela is a Research Fellow with Griffith University, the Deputy Chair of Melville Cares, and a volunteer within the kids’ ministry team of her local Christian church.