Our country, Mauritius has an ageing population. Mauritius Statistics forecasts that 20% of the Mauritian population will be above 65 years by 2025.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accentuated the exclusion of and prejudice against older adults. The current crisis highlights a disturbing public discourse about ageing that questions the value of older adults’ lives and disregards their valuable contributions to society.
Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Ageism is widespread practice which has harmful effects on the health of older adults. It marginalizes and excludes older people in their communities.
We need to be aware of this and find ways to show older people’s contribution and find ways for intergenerational interaction.
What can we do to change our views and mindset?
It starts with awareness. Knowing that this is happening and that all of us are contributing to it in some way and then starting to make small changes.
The language we use when speaking about older individuals and our own ageing.
Research has shown to combat ageism, education and intergenerational contact is important.
How can we do this?
The MWA (I AM) project wants to use a different approach to combat ageism and increased stereotypes and stigma around older individuals. By bringing together people of different ages and having conversations about their lives and dreams, we want to showcase that young and older can learn from each other and dream together. Ageing does not prevent you from dreaming, growing, learning and giving. The project is about connection, growth and hope. It teaches us to also look deeper than just what we see. To find the stories and the dreams around us and not forget our older individuals and the valuable role they play in society.
Through videos, storytelling and sharing of dreams, the MWA project aim to break down stigmas around older people and ageism; to increase intergenerational connection between younger and older individuals and to highlight that older individuals continue to dream and grow no matter what their age is. It will focus on a variety of older individuals around the island; ranging from individuals staying in care homes to individuals who are still active in society and/or living at their own homes or supported by family. It aims to celebrate older individuals by showcasing their stories and dreams on social media and across Mauritius. There will be a few events to highlight the project. There will be a call to action to individuals and care homes across the island to participate in this project.
The MWA team has already started this project at two care homes with great success. We would like to invite anyone that contributes to our first two Dream Tree Festivals that will be held in November at these homes. Invites attached.
Living Change is an organisation whose focus is continuous improvement of the Quality of Life and Independence of older persons, promoting active ageing and celebrating the third age.
We have been involved in many projects that focus on empowerment of older individuals and also the people who are supporting them through training and workshops.
We are the sole provider of the international training of the Eden Alternative® philosophy.
To find out more: https://www.facebook.com/livingchangemu and
What will your contributions be used for?
- Assisting in the sharing the stories of older individuals around the island – showing their value and contribution.
- Making of videos that will be used to encourage people across the island to connect with older individuals and to learn from their stories.
- Different events to talk about ageism, educating and empowering older individuals.
- Training for support workers during the project and care workers at the various care homes.