Kissing it Better

Find a friend – from a different generation

September 2019

If you want to feel happier and less anxious, find a friend from a different generation.

The benefits are bountiful. Cross-generational friendships foster mutual understanding and break down prejudice. They also reduce stress levels. Being able to confide in a chum from a completely different age group is good for your mental health.

We see this every day at KiB. Young people feel supported by the wisdom and experience of their older friends. Older people say that having a young friend gives them confidence that the world is in good hands.

“I used to think they were all ‘hoodies’ or in gangs, but I’ve made so many lovely new friends that I now realise they’re just like we were at that age, in so many ways,” says 86-year-old Emily Gillard. “We’re more alike than we are different. We oldies just have more life experience.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says there is real empirical evidence that intergenerational activities and friendships can improve health outcomes for all ages. NICE now recommends that local councils do more to support cross-generational programmes.