Age Strong - Respecting Seniors is Respecting Yourself

Local Wellington County Intergenerational video project receives International recognition

Below is the article from the International Federation on Ageing - June 2011 eNews

Age Strong - Respecting Seniors is Respecting Yourself is a message that a group of seniors and high school students developed to tackle the issue of ageism and elder abuse in Guelph Ontario. With a grant from the Government of Canada New Horizons for Seniors Program, this project took a social marketing approach to addressing an underlying cause of elder abuse, AGEISM. The 15 students and 12 older adults began meeting in April 2010 with the goal of creating an ageism awareness toolkit that could be used in high schools.

The group created a catchy slogan with a message AGE STRONG - Respecting Seniors is Respecting Yourself which they displayed on t-shirts and bracelet give aways for their peers. Focusing on reaching out to a tech savvy computer generation of teenagers, the students insisted that the information be brought to their peers via the internet and social marketing sites.

The group created their own facebook page and turned their attention to the production of a 5 minute rap video which has become the cornerstone of the toolkit. The rap lyrics and the music were written by students in the group and every member performed in the video. The rap video was uploaded onto youtube, October 5th to coincide with the group's first presentation to a local high school. The video has received over 3000 hits and garnered the attention of provincial, national and international organizations. Since the video's debut, the group has made presentations to local high schools and distributed the "toolkit" with tremendous success. One local high school, St. James Catholic High School, has created a Grade 12 course running this semester with an intergenerational theme.

The success of the rap video has demonstrated to all involved that a positive collaboration across the generations can do more to raise awareness and change attitudes than a multitude of brochures and posters. Take a look at what a small group can accomplish in working to create better relationships across the generations ... its inspiring! Follow the Link to view the video

About The International Federation on Ageing

THEY ARE an international non-governmental organization with a membership base of NGOs, the corporate sector, academia, government, and individuals.

THEY BELIEVE in 'generating positive change for older people throughout the world by stimulating, collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information on rights, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life of people as they age.'

Additional material and resouces for schools and youth groups interested in underatking elder abuse awareness and intergenerational awareness projects can find a range of resources on the IFA website at