The intergenerational project Through Their Eyes was dedicated to examining the age-friendliness of the local St. Catharines community. Assistant Professor Paula Gardner worked alongside her class of 45 third and fourth year undergraduate students at Brock University. The majority of the students were from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and had a keen interest in the course, Developing Healthy Communities. The 45 students were paired with 20 seniors in the Niagara region to better understand what makes an age-friendly community. These students were the primary data collectors as they were responsible for conducting and reporting on the interviews with the seniors of 14 Centre Street.
The Brock University Research Ethics Board also played a key role in the structuring of the community-based project and provided ethical clearance approving its safety for all participants. The students used “go along” interviews (a qualitative method that combines in-depth interviewing with participant observation) to work collaboratively as an “intergenerational team” to assess the age-friendliness of local St. Catharines neighbourhoods. Residents and staff were vital in making this project possible. Thanks to the generous assistance and support from a number of individuals at 14 Centre Street, the students were able to compile an incredible amount of useful data for use by the Developing Healthy Communities class and affiliated project partners.
Publication Date: May, 2014