Translating Knowledge

Sharon Anderson, Janet Fast, Norah Keating, Jacquie Eales, Sally Chivers, David Barnet
  • Health Promotion Practice, July 2016, SAGE Publishing
  • DOI: 10.1177/1524839915625037

Value of arts based programming to promote health of older adults and university students

What is it about?

As health promoters we often look to promote physical activity, healthier diets, and smoking cessation rather than social programs. In this paper we asked why drama programs help older adults to feel healthier.

Why is it important?

As baby boomers age and the percentage of older adults in our population rises-- the Silver Tsunami--- promoting the health of older adults becomes even more critical. Community based arts programming can promote health.


Ms Sharon Anderson (Author)
University of Alberta

The GeriActors and Friends inter-generational drama program engages older adults and university students. In the interviews, we were surprised when older adults and university students said they were experiencing many of the same challenges. Both felt lonely. University students were away from home, they and other students were busy, and classes were competitive. Older adults noted how their social networks were getting smaller and their conversations becoming limited to topics like going to the grocery store or last night's TV show. Both gained self-confidence and perspective through this weekly drama program.

The following have contributed to this page: Ms Sharon Anderson