Developing mental health, physical well-being and socio-cultural participation for elderly people through theatre
Currently, the ageing of the population increasingly requires the development of practices to promote and support the maintenance of the autonomy and health of the elderly. In response to these needs, the project intends to exploit the potential of the theatre workshop by actively interacting with older people, institutionalised and non-institutionalised, for sharing purposes. The project is based on the assumption that theatre and performance practices, and more generally narrative and artistic production, are effective tools for the sharing of experiences and emotions, for the development and enrichment of human relations, for the strengthening of social and community ties, and for the creation and promotion of psychophysical well-being.
The project is aimed directly at elderly people who live in their own hom with certain degree of autonomy, or who reside in the elderly home. Thanks to the institutional network built up in the project and the resources identified, four pilot projects were activated in February 2020 in the Pro Senectute day care centres in Tenero and Bellinzona, the Casa San Donato in Intragna and the Centro sociale onsernonese in Russo. Under the guidance of an actor-trainer, a process of sharing thoughts, expressive gestures, narratives and memories was set in motion in the workshops with the elderly in order to achieve a shared production. The main aim of the project is to show the potential of theatre, performance and narrative practices for the development of mental health, physical well-being and social participation of elderly people.
The final outputs (performances, photographs, sharing moments) will be used to explore the influence that such actions can have for cultural change in the perception of older people by the public, in relation to the issues of visibility and recognition of older people in the population. Thanks to the skills developed in the project and the involvement of institutions, a further aim of the project is to activate a stable service that will allow interested institutions as day centres, old people’s homes, etc. to host theatre workshops in order to promote the well-being of non-institutionalised elderly people and, to a lesser extent, residents.
The project is developed by the Dimitri Academy in collaboration with SUPSI’s Department of Business Economics, Health and Social-DEASS (social and health areas), and is implemented with the support of the cantonal action programme of Health Promotion Switzerland and the Oertli Foundation, and under the patronage of the Health Promotion and Evaluation Service (SPVS), Pro Senectute and the municipalities involved.
Direzione del progetto: Prof. Demis Quadri, ATD
Ricercatori: Veronica Provenzale, ATD ; Claudio Mustacchi, Guenda Bernegger, DEASS
Formatore teatrale: Daniele Bianco