Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio has been making a positive difference in the lives of older adults for more than 100 years. ScrippsAVID is a project designed by the Scripps Gerontology Center to build social connections across the generations. The ScrippsAVID program was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic based on our 15 years of experience delivering the ScrippsOMA (Opening Minds through Art) program, an intergenerational art-making program designed for people living with dementia.
Why We Do It
Our programs were developed to bridge the age divide and address loneliness. Age segregation in our society has resulted in people across generations seeing each other as strangers, contributing to ageist attitudes in both directions. By connecting people across generations via direct, regular interactions centered around the arts, we build positive attitudes about each other in a joyful way.
Loneliness is associated with significantly increased risk of developing various diseases and premature mortality from all causes. Loneliness is a social concern affecting all generations. Intergenerational connections have the potential of addressing loneliness and can positively impact everyone’s health and well-being.
We would like to thank all the older adults and Miami University students, especially our graduate students and the teaching assistants in GTY 310 and GTY 110 courses for contributing and piloting these activities. We are especially grateful to Dennis Cheatham for building ScrippsAVID and to Shawn Vanness for designing the ScrippsAVID Activity Cards Pack. We are also thankful to Anne Basting and everyone at TimeSlips.org for inspiring the Writing Module in ScrippsAVID and to Chloe Bradwell for inspiring me to make the mini theaters that are the prompts in that module. The lesson on creating an original poem came from Gary Glazner of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. You can see Anne Basting’s and Gary Glazner’s work, along with other master teaching artists’ work, by visiting the Creative Caregiving Lessons website. Finally, our deepest gratitude goes to Scripps Gerontology Center’s former Executive Director, Suzanne Kunkel, current Executive Director, Katy Abbott, and the entire office staff members for their support in making all these projects possible.