Socio-drama Tackling Ageism, Preventing abuse
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
Ageism constructs older adults as 'different', and can result in violations of their rights. Particularly vulnerable are older people dependent on others for care and support. Their right to lead dignified, secure lives as equal members of society often go unheeded, creating context and opportunity for elder abuse. Confronting ageism is central to confronting elder abuse. With population ageing, the percentage of populations aged 65 years and over is estimated to increase in Europe from 16% (2010) to 25.6% by 2040, particularly in the 85 and over group. Hence elder abuse, a European wide issue, has the potential to impact on the lives of a growing number of people. Whilst progress is being made at a policy level, elder abuse remains a taboo topic, a hidden problem in many countries, with a failure by many to acknowledge its even existence. Elder abuse may not be recognized as a crime or a violation of human rights. Older people are fearful of the repercussions if they disclose maltreatment, and therefore stay silent. The failure within our society to challenge ageist assumptions and attitudes to older people, lack of awareness amongst older people of their human rights, and deficits in awareness and knowledge amongst health and social care professionals contributes to a lack of action in addressing elder abuse on the ground. Hence new ways of educating older people themselves and those that provide care and support to them is hugely important and paramount if people are to lead dignified, secure and fulfilled lives as they age.
The objectives of this project are to address this gap in awareness and knowledge by
- designing an education programme that will provide new learning opportunities in the field of human rights and empathy to prevent abuse. Traditional learning opportunities explicitly focusing on elder abuse may be ineffective or refused by the target group, as abuse can be unintentional due to lack of awareness and taboo nature of the topic. The methodology proposed will use creative tools including socio-drama to deliver the programme in day care centres and residential settings.
- empowerming older adults though education on human rights and the exploration of ways of safeguarding well-being
- fostering empathy amongst formal carers abuse through enabling them 'to walk in older person's shoes' and challenge ageism
- developing educators' competencies on the topic
- working with care settings to develop an elder abuse policy informed by outcomes of the programe
The target groups to be addressed are
- older adults, particularly those in care settings, who lack the opportunity to engage in learning on human rights and elder abuse, yet are a group most in need due to increased disability and reduced social networks
- Professionals and formal carers as low level of awareness and knowledge of elder abuse have been shown to be related to low level of training in topic.
The project is carried out by a partnership made of NGOs working in elder abuse in Ireland, Italy, Romania and Finland together with Gaiety, one of the most important school of acting in Ireland. Together we will develop an education programme using active learning methods, socio-drama, to raise awareness amongst older people of their human rights, challenging ageism and building empathy amongst formal carers. Outputs will include an E-Book outlining context and theory of elder abuse, exploring further this new concept of 'generational intelligence', the Handbook on the Education Programme will provide a step by step guide on how to deliver the programme consisting of four workshops to the target audience. A report on participants' experience of taking part in the programme will provide insight into the actual workings of the programme. The lessons learned report will provide a platform for sharing knowledge with wider community. Capturing and using lessons will allow other stakeholders learn from our previous experience thus avoid re-inventing the wheel; help stakeholders at different levels understand the relevance of activities in the prevention of elder abuse, thus improving collaboration and coordination; inform decision-makers to help promote a more enabling environment in the prevention of elder abuse. A common need of all of the partner organizations in this proposed project is to find new ways to educate, and provide carers, professionals and older people with the skills to protect themselves and those they care for. The impact envisaged is wider awareness amongst older people of their rights, increased empathy and understanding of ageism and elder abuse amongst formal carers and wider community.
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