There was a lot of engagement when the University of Agder and Arendal municipality invited to a workshop on social inclusion among older people.
“This exceeded all our expectations. A full house shows that there is a lot of engagement when it comes to creating an including society for old people”, says Professor Elin Thygesen from the Department of Health and Nursing Sciences at the University of Agder (UiA).
The workshop took place during Arendalsuka, a yearly celebration of politics and democracy in Norway, and one of the main political meeting places during the year.
UiA, together with Arendal municipality, is lead partner in the innovation project From Isolation to Inclusion (I2I). Supported by Interreg North Sea Region, the project brings together 11 partners from 7 countries to drive innovation in the field of social inclusion.
During the spring of 2021, I2I has carried out a survey among the elderly residents of Arendal muncipality who are still living at home. In combination with several workshops, the participants in the project have gained valuable insight in the challenges facing the elderly.
Around 70 people participated in the workshop at Arendalsuka. They were split into groups and tasked with coming up with novel solutions for transportation and “matchmaking” in connection with events.
“The participants really engaged with the issues, and they have given us lots of good ideas to work with”, says Thygesen.
To guide the particpants through the workshop, help was enlisted from UiA CoLAB, a creative learning centre for co-creation, knowledge sharing and social innovation.
The event turned out to be useful for all the parties involved.
“We in Arendal municipality are really looking forward to working with all the good suggestions. It was fun that so many creative people wanted to be a part of increasing the social participation and activity among the elderly in Arendal”, says Ingrid Kjørstad in the municipality.
You can see more photos from the workshop on the Facebook page of From Isolation to Inclusion.