Social Philosophy

Intergenerational Learning: why older adults and younger children can help each other

Dr Zoe Wyrko
24th January 2019, 7:00pm

Dr Zoe Wyrko has held a variety of national roles within the professional organisation for those interested in the healthcare of older people, the British Geriatrics Society, including Honorary Secretary and Vice-President for Workforce. An approach through this organisation in early 2017 led to her involvement in the Channel 4 programme ‘Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds’ in which a group of children carried out their usual nursery activities in a retirement community with a group of older volunteers. The impact of such intergenerational learning was measured by recording the mood and activity levels of the older adults, often with surprising results. The first series aired in August 2017 and the second series is due for broadcast in Autumn 2018.


In her lecture Dr Wyrko will explore some of the findings of the televised experiment and discuss why these may have occurred. She will talk about the effects that the series seems to have had in terms of starting to change the way older adults are viewed and the empowerment which has led to multiple small projects being set up. She will also discuss how the work impacts on the way that our society views ageing and what must be done to change it for the benefit of all ages.


About the Speaker

Zoe Wyrko is a Consultant Geriatrician and Associate Medical Director at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She graduated from Birmingham University in 2000 and spent the next decade working at a variety of hospitals throughout the West Midlands before taking up her consultant post in 2010. Her clinical interests are based around the systems and processes of health care for older people and trying to make things better for those who need to access the incredibly complicated health and care system. This has included setting up a specialist ward for older adults who are delayed in hospital while they wait for social services input (which was featured as an exemplar in the Royal College of Physicians Future Hospital report) and more recently organising systems for expert multidisciplinary review of older people within the emergency department and acute medical wards. She is currently working with other local leaders in health and social care to establish the ‘Ageing well in Birmingham and Solihull’ strategy.



Lamb hotpot served with pickled cabbage and crusty bread

Green vegetable risotto


Manchester tart

Fresh fruit salad




UPDATE 21st January: please note - catering numbers have been confirmed with the venue, so bookings for supper are now closed.