About the project
Negative attitudes about ageing and older age make life on average 7,5 years shorter.
Negative stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination on the ground of age are known as “ageism”, which has been shown to cause cardiovascular stress, lowered levels of self-efficacy and decreased productivity. Across the EU, policies and practices still reflect ageist prejudices and deprioritise, disregard, or even exclude older adults.
Our newest Erasmus + project Smart Against Ageism (SAA) focuses on fighting ageism!
SAA | Smart Against Ageism is a gaming tool to raise knowledge against ageism and will contribute to developing empathy, tolerance and civil society skills.
An interactive learning platform with a high-quality game, a compendium, a trainer manual and policy recommendations for a more inclusive society will be made available for informal and non-formal learning free of charge.
SAA will contribute to restoring the image of older adults as full citizens with the potential to benefit their communities and remove the barriers to their social participation.
Our consortium joins Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Lithuania, Bulgaria and The Netherlands in a creative and engaged team working together from January 2022 to June 2024!
The ageism concept is related to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Essentially, influences how we think, feel and act towards others or ourselves based on age. Structural ageism is a form of systematic stereotyping and discrimination and can be defined as a way in which society and its institutions sustain ageist attitudes. It can be found, among others, in the legal system, the media and the economy, but also the Third Sector.
Ageism causes a massive impact on society, influencing how we view ourselves and the possibility of considering what other persons (younger or older) can contribute to society. This type of discrimination can impact population health, longevity and well-being while also having far-reaching economic consequences.
The overall objective of the SAA project is to strengthen the competencies of volunteers and staff of different professions in social and healthcare organisations, older adults themselves, and the broad public in becoming aware of the pervasiveness of ageism in all spheres of society.
Those who know and respect the rules for debates on critical topics can confidently advocate for change. Knowledge about ageism and familiarity with strategies to tackle these phenomena open up the opportunity to work for more equality and social inclusion.
In this context, education must address topics under discussion, help identify stigmatising situations, and assess their impact. Responses to counter-ageism will promote critical thinking and encourage learners to develop their empathy and acceptance of human diversity.
The consortium members share the belief, that measures are needed to promote self-reflection efforts among persons of all age groups and to develop an understanding of the harm that can result from ageism. By implementing the project, we want to achieve the following results for particular target groups: We want to develop a learning game that is in particular directed at paid staff and volunteers in social and healthcare organisations who are usually highly burdened by workloads and short of time. Taking their strains into account we intend to offer them an informal learning experience with a playful approach in order to increase their understanding of ageism and enable them to reflect on their attitudes and practices.
The SAA consortium members can present the educational game, its underlying methodology and project outcomes in terms of accompanying material and the feedback from learners and other stakeholders in social and healthcare provision. By doing so, we also want to strengthen our local, regional, national and European networks, broaden our portfolios with new and attractive offers to our primary audiences from the social and healthcare sectors, train their staff and volunteers, and provide the opportunity to share experiences across borders and hence help them to better fulfil their missions.
The interactive learning platform addresses diverse target groups among others: volunteers, staff and decision-makers in social and healthcare, but also intends to attract persons who are not inclined to participate in formal or non-formal adult education offers.
Four project results will be elaborated in the project:
Compendium “Responding to Ageism” (download)
The compendium is based on personal experiences of being a target of age discrimination as well as strategies to cope with the situation.
Interactive learning platform
The SAA interactive learning platform with the learning game at its core and further material for learners, adult educators, policy-makers in authorities and associations, and the broad public.
Toolkit for trainers
The toolkit for trainers with all necessary material to implement the game in workshops also enables members of seniors’ lobby groups to offer training.
Recommendations for policy-makers
Recommendations for policy-makers, lobby groups and associations to tackle the problems of ageism.
These together with other resources have been compiled in the resources section.
The project involves seven partner organisations in six European countries:
The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.