Intergenerational programming involves activities or programs that increase cooperation, interaction or exchange between any two generations. It involves the sharing of skills, knowledge or experience between old and young.

From the 2010 National Council on the Aging
The Intergenerational Programs at Texas State promotes the building of intergenerational relationships through service-learning and activities within the greater San Marcos community.

Benefits of Intergenerational Programs:

Faculty and college students provide needed services fostering intergenerational relationships, which improve overall quality of life of the elderly and disabled.  The Intergenerational Program at Texas State motivates the elderly community to participate in health awareness initiatives such as exercise and nutrition programs.  The needs and benefits of intergenerational programs can, in accordance with a Penn State University report, be assessed:

  1. Over the past two decades, there has been a growing body of literature which describes a trend in which young people (21 years of age and younger) and elderly people (60 years of age and older) are becoming increasingly separated in terms of living arrangements and recreational outlets.
  2. Despite the fact that elderly people are the fastest growing portion of the U.S. population, with over 31 million people having reached the age of 65 as of 1990, the special group status of senior adults for housing, healthcare, economic support and transportation has served to further isolate the nation’s elderly from other age groups.
  3. Conversely, children and youth, who are in need of adult guidance and relationships, typically find little opportunity for meaningful exchanges with senior adults. This pattern of age segregation has been linked to the decline in life satisfaction among older persons and the increase in negative stereotypes toward the aged and aging among younger people.
  4. Depending on program design, intergenerational initiatives also function to promote educational objectives, arts and recreation interests, desired states of health and welfare, and religious and spiritual well-being. Furthermore, intergenerational programs have been found to diminish ageist stereotypes, strengthen communities, and lead to improved services for children, youth and older adults.
  5.  Penn State University Cooperative Extension and Education: Intergenerational Programs and Aging: http://aese.psu.edu/extension/intergenerational


Core Programs

What is Intergenerational Programming?

“Intergenerational programming,” as defined by the National Council on the Aging, involves those “activities or programs that increase cooperation, interaction or exchange between any two generations. It involves the sharing of skills, knowledge or experience between old and young.”


The Intergenerational Programs at Texas State include two core initiatives where students can earn course credit through experiential learning: Mutual Adoption Pact (MAP) and Safe at Home (SAH).

MAP (Mutual Adoption Pac

MAP matches students with an individual care recipient in the elderly community. The program addresses the issues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom experienced by many elderly and disabled. MAP encourages relationship building, and may include such services as transportation to doctor’s offices, doing yard-work, or simply changing a light bulb.

SAH (Safe At Home)

Safe at Home was developed to reduce the risk of death and injury from falls in the home. Primary recipients are the elderly and disabled. SAH students conduct safety checks of individuals’ homes to identify and correct potential trip and fall hazards.Services may also include help with home improvements or repairs to avert risks of injury and promote safety. SAH builds wheelchair ramps for individuals in need in San Marcos and the surrounding communities. SAH partners with McCoy’s Building Supply, Contractor Delbert Howard, and the City of San Marcos.

Community and Partners

SAH and MAP Sponsoring Community Partners:

SL Community Partners:

The Simple Dollar, a website dedicated to conducting data driven and unbiased research about topics that can help make an impact in people’s lives. 

our team spent weeks reviewing the US Social Security Administration’s documentation to develop our 2016 Disability Benefit Guide. This guide breaks down qualifications and the application process, as well as a provides a calculator that can help estimate monthly and annual benefits.

You can see the entire guide along with some of its features here:

SM 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan – Final (PDF, 5 MB)

City of SM_SURVEY Results 2016 Action Plan (PDF, 39 KB)

Helpful Links

Intergenerational Resources

Communication toolkit  (PDF, 553 KB)

Connecting Generations Toolkit  (PDF, 13 MB)

Implementing IG Projects  (PDF, 1 MB)

Intergenerational Communication Model  (PPT, 134 KB)

Toolkit for Trainers  (URL, 204 bytes)

Quick Guide to Health Literacy  (PDF, 455 KB)

Lower blood pressure nutrition guide  (PDF, 978 KB)

Medical Glossary  (PDF, 85 KB)

Pharmlit : Is Our Pharmacy Meeting Patients’ Needs? A Pharmacy Health Literacy Assessment Tool  (PDF, 1 MB)

The State of Aging and Health in America 2007  (PDF, 4 MB)

WhatsWhys of Intergenerational Programs_Penn State  (PDF, 5 KB)

Healthcare Literacy Guide For Aging And Disabled  (PDF, 20 MB)

Health & Economic Status of Older Americans – 2012 NIH Report : Health & Economic Status of Older Americans – National Institute of Health 2012 Report –  (PDF, 121 KB)

Falls and Older Adults – Causes and Risk Factors  (URL, 232 bytes)

Administration on Aging  (URL, 148 bytes)

National Institute on Aging  (URL, 156 bytes)

Nihseniorhealth Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults – Table of contents  (URL, 226 bytes)

Quick Guide to Health Literacy and Older Adults – Health Literacy and communicting with Older Adults  (URL, 251 bytes)

K-State College of Human Ecology – K-State Center on Aging  (URL, 180 bytes)

San José State University Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations  (URL, 162 bytes)

Retail Savings Guide For Baby Boomers

Healthcare Literacy Guide for Aging and Disabled

The attached Healthcare Literacy Guide is supplemental to the Service-Learning Initiative at Texas State Intergenerational core programs, providing key healthcare wellness and prevention information to aging and disabled participants, as well as online resources for the greater San Marcos community.

This healthcare literacy guide is created to assist aging and disabled communities in understanding health-related risks, how to prevent being at risk, and how to manage health-related tasks. It points out chronic diseases, behaviors and safety factors that contribute to at-risk health issues. The guide also serves as a reference for community providers and students participating in intergenerational programs, especially those with healthcare outcomes.

Key topics outlined in the guide include:

  • Healthy Literacy
  • Statistics and History
  • Health and Wellness for Elderly
  • Health Information – Medication and Basic Health
  • Understanding Health Information – Pharmacy/Online
  • Healthcare Literacy Terms Glossary
  • Disabilities and Healthcare
  • Home Safety and At-Risk Prevention
  • Preventing falls and accidents
  • Exercise
  • NutritionFood Safety
  • Intergenerational Programming
  • What is Service Learning? Health Incentives
  • Service-Learning Initiative at Texas State
  • Get Creative Stay Young-Creative programming in the arts
  • Frequently Asked Questions about:
    Food: Eating Well and Health Safety
    Home Health: Safety and Wellness

Healthcare Literacy Guide For Aging And Disabled   (PDF, 20 MB)