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Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mackenzie Feldhacker


Intergenerational Program, Occupation-based Intergenerational Program, Generations

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this capstone experience was to create an occupation-based and client-centered intergenerational program to benefit both older adults and children. Intergenerational programs (IG) facilitate interaction between two unique generations of individuals through the provision of scheduled activities. Typically, IG programs combine children and older adults to engage in activities together. Despite the growing body of evidence and support of IG programs, there are a limited number of programs that utilize shared meaningful occupations to facilitate interaction among participants. Grand Pals was specifically created to enhance the understanding, importance, and body of evidence behind meaningful occupations and how they can motivate, encourage, and bring individuals of different generations together. The 12-week capstone experience took place at two facilities, TowerLight in St. Louis Park, Minnesota and Bethesda Home of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, South Dakota. At TowerLight, the student was able to observe and participate in intergenerational programming, while reviewing resources and gaining advice. At Bethesda Home of Aberdeen, the student created and implemented an occupation-based intergenerational program for preschool-aged children and residents of an independent and assisted-living facility. The older adults and children were paired based on shared, meaningful occupations. Because of similar interests in certain activities, the pairs were then able to participate in Grand pals sessions together. Throughout the development of the program, the student created a multitude of deliverables to reflect a sustainable program. First and foremost, a needs assessment was conducted to determine the need for this program at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen. A Grand Pals Activity Manual was created to ensure the program and its principles were sustainable for a long-term program. A presentation regarding occupation-based and client-centered intergenerational programming was provided to staff at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen to ensure that staff was educated on the topic. All deliverables were accomplished for this capstone project, demonstrating mastery of all learning objectives.