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Health Promot Pract. 2017 Jan;18(1):15-25. doi: 10.1177/1524839915625037. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Translating Knowledge: Promoting Health Through Intergenerational Community Arts Programming.

Author information

1
1 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
2
2 International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Seoul, South Korea.
3
3 Canadian Association on Gerontology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4
4 Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Intergenerational programs have been touted to address the generation gaps and isolation of older adults. Mutual contact alone has produced mixed results, but attention to the intergenerational program content demonstrates well-being benefits. This practice-based article examines the benefits of creating and performing ensemble-created plays to older adults' and university students' well-being and the key processes that promote well-being.

METHOD:

This community participatory research project involved older adults as researchers as well as research subjects. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted by two trained interviewers with older adults (n = 15) and university students (n = 17).

RESULTS:

Professional dramaturgical processes of storytelling, reminiscence, and playfulness were key elements in participants' generative learning. They augmented older adults' and university students' ability to understand their situations and try innovative solutions. Skills such as openness, flexibility, and adaptation transferred into students' and older adults' daily lives.

CONCLUSION:

Participating in this intergenerational theatre group reduced ageism and improved intergenerational relationships. It increased older adults' and university students' well-being by building social networks, confidence, and self-esteem and developed a sense of social justice, empathy, and support for others.

KEYWORDS:

aging; community-based participatory research; drama; health promotion; intergenerational; older adults; prevention; students

PMID:
26933005
DOI:
10.1177/1524839915625037

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