Smart Against Ageism (SAA) is a project that aims to increase knowledge about ageism and contribute to restoring the image of older adults as full citizens with the potential to benefit their communities and to remove obstacles to their social participation. What is ageism? Ageism is the prejudice that exists in relation to age, especially towards older people, and that somehow categorizes people causing them disadvantages or injustices that may affect their confidence, mental health, financial situation and quality of life.
SHINE 2Europe, a company based in Coimbra, alongside partners from Germany, Belgium, Lithuania, Bulgaria and the Netherlands – led by ISIS, have been working since 2022 on the SAA project, funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Commission, building a game-based educational tool to alert citizens to the problem of ageism, developing empathy and tolerance towards older citizens.
On June 27th and 28th, SHINE welcomed its project partners to its city to discuss the progress of the project, as well as the game platform, its design and its characters, which the participants were pleased with. There was also space to outline the activities for the development of the toolkit for trainers. The SAA project will make all the developed tools freely available for formal and non-formal learning.
On the second day of the meeting, the consortium was welcomed at the Machado de Castro National Museum and had the opportunity to experience the “EU at muSEU” project, an initiative that mirrors the SAA’s goal: to enable everyone to participate in society. This project is an example of making the cultural offer accessible to all. It consists of receiving people with dementia, namely neurocognitive disorders of the Alzheimer’s disease type, making the approach to works of art accessible. The Machado de Castro Museum has been doing this work for about twelve years, receiving people with dementia, their formal caregivers in session (voluntary people from the community) and informal caregivers. The methodology used is person-centered and the approaches aim at cognitive and cultural stimulation. Accompanied by Lurdes Craveiro and Virgínia Gomes, the SAA partners made a practical simulation of what would be the participation of a caregiver and also, as far as possible, of what would be the interaction of a person with dementia. The participants were amazed by this initiative and the questions came flooding in.