In 2018, the FQD focused its mediation section on a highly relevant challenge: an ageing population. Elderly people are often victims of negative stereotyping and many suffer from isolation. Furthermore, in 2030, there will be more elderly individuals than those under 20 years old. This statistic should make us think about the roles elderly people occupy in our societies and their necessary valorization.
The intergenerational project À petits pas has brought together children from the CPE de la Dame with elders living in the Centre d’hébergement in Saint-Henri, in precious partnership with young dancer and choreographer Pauline Gervais. These two groups first discovered dance separately during introductory workshops adapted to their abilities. The children and elders then came together for two workshops: one informal workshop to get to know each other and a final intergenerational dance workshop.
The children in this project are 4-5 years old. At that age, they are more autonomous, can work in teams, and understand individual difference, which is essential for intergenerational activities. The centre d’hébergement residents were for the most part in a process of declining autonomy.
Dance, a beautiful intergenerational tool
Dance is a beautiful intergenerational tool. It reactivates elders’ mobility while stimulating their curiosity, imagination, and creativity. It highlights self esteem and associates a positive dialogue on the uses of the body. Memories represent valuable contributions. The workshops highlighted a positive relationship: while the elders gained in presence and energy, the children were calmed by their interactions with them. The workshops broke the isolation faced by elderly persons and sensitized children to the realities faced by their elders, as painted in a positive light.
Forging ties in the neighbourhood
Based in the Southwest borough in which we have held offices for the last 3 years, this project has allowed us to forge ties with neighbourhood organizations as well as create lasting bridges between partners who have then gone on to organize further intergenerational meetings.