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Multi-modal Intergenerational Social Contact Intervention for Creative Engagement (MISCI-CE)

MISCI-CE is a new, evidence-informed program that pairs younger adults with older people screened for loneliness and social isolation to build a relationship through a creative project they choose to complete together during regular meetings over the course of three months.

Why are we doing this?

Loneliness and social isolation are key risk factors for developing dementia and other health problems as we age.1 Interventions like this, if scaled, could prevent up to 44 million cases of dementia over the next 20 years.2-3 Furthermore, the AARP and other leaders in the field have identified social engagement as a key priority for health of all kinds.4 MISCI combines creative projects with intergenerational visits because studies have shown that psychosocial interventions work best when using more than one modality.5

SPRING 2023 APPLICATION IS NOW LIVE! Click here to apply by 2/11/23!

Who is involved?

Younger people age >18* and older people in San Francisco are invited to participate in our study of the MISCI program. This project began under the umbrella of the Atlantic Fellowship for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute based at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and Trinity College, Dublin with a multidisciplinary research team. Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) and OpenHouse are our community-based partners focused on older people in San Francisco. Students at San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, and Minerva University participate regularly as younger participants, as do many in our community. Since 2019, the program has engaged and followed over 100 older people and nearly 200 younger people working in intergenerational groups.

Our program receives financial support from

  • The Global Brain Health Institute, Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's UK, the Atlantic Institute, and Alzheimer's Society Pilot Award for Global Brain Health Leaders
  • City and County of San Francisco via the Department of Aging and Adult Services

How does it work?

People ages 18+* may be eligible to participate in MISCI for Creative Engagement (MISCI-CE) program with the following features

  • Covid Safety

(lightbulb)Adapted to mitigate risk of infection through use of phone and online conferencing

  • Pre-program training and matching

    (lightbulb)Learn about brain health and how best to minimize bias and maximize productive collaboration across differences. Get matched with another younger participant and an older participant who will be your MISCI partners.

  • Creative project development and just-in-time support

    (lightbulb)Develop your project together with your MISCI partners in 10 one-hour in person or virtual meetings over the course of the session. Connect with other students and project leads for additional training, trouble-shooting, and mutual support. Share the creative project at the final celebration.

  • Reflection 

    (lightbulb)In short journal entries, ongoing coaching and training, and brief surveys, consolidate your learning.

  • Certification

(lightbulb)Participants who complete the program successfully and attend mid-program training opportunities will earn a MISCI-CE Certificate from the Global Brain Health Institute. For details, look at our MISCI-CE Certification requirements

How much time does it take?

Younger participants engage in 

  • Two and half hours of pre-program training
  • Up to five hours of mid-program training or coaching sessions
  • Ten weekly project development meetings
  • Ten brief post-visit journal entries taking no more than thirty minutes per entry
  • One celebration conference call

for a total of 19 to 24 hours of total time commitment over the course of three months. Feel fee to look at the current draft of our Spring 2023 MISCI Program Schedule, but please note that dates and times may shift between now and February.

*A select number of people aged 16-17 may also be eligible to participate with permission from a parent/guardian.

Click here for our Contacts Page

Are you a potential organizational partner focused on older people?

For information for potential MISCI partners working with older people, click here.


  1. Perissinotto, Carla M., Irena Stijacic Cenzer, and Kenneth E. Covinsky. 2012 Loneliness in Older Persons: A Predictor of Functional Decline and Death. Archives of Internal Medicine 172(14): 1078–1083.
  2. Livingston, Gill, Andrew Sommerlad, Vasiliki Orgeta, et al. 2017. Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care. The Lancet., accessed November 9, 2017.
  3. Norton, S., Matthews, F. E., Barnes, D. E., Yaffe, K. & Brayne, C. Potential for primary prevention of Alzheimer’s disease: an analysis of population-based data. The Lancet Neurology13, 788–794 (2014).
  4. AARP Global Council on Brain Health. The Brain and Social Connectedness: GCBH Recommendations on Social Engagement and Brain Health.
  5. McHugh, J., Lee, O., Aspell, N., Lawlor, B. A., & Brennan, S. (2015). A shared mealtime approach to improving social and nutritional functioning among older adults living alone: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols4(2), e43.

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