Human Rights of Older People Under the Spotlight in the age of Coronavirus

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 at 2:45 pm | News & Events

Up until a few weeks ago the concept of enforced isolation for older members of our society would have seemed, like most societal changes in place due to Coronavirus, bizarre. But now cocooning, along with a jump in the calls placed to Alone, in addition to the rising numbers of deaths in nursing homes countrywide, means that the older members of our society are in the headlines daily.

Now more than ever the human rights of older people are being highlighted, with some states in the USA not even obliged to register the number of Coronavirus deaths in nursing homes. If your death isn’t deemed significant enough to count, it’s safe to assume that your life can’t have held that much importance either.

Human rights for older people has been the foundation of the Erasmus Plus funded Two Moons project which the Gaiety School of Acting has been collaborating on since 2019. With partners from Ireland, Italy, Finland and Romania, the GSA’s education department has been involved in a body of research into the wellbeing of older adults in Europe, ultimately producing a booklet detailing their findings. The booklet addresses the issue of neglect and elder abuse, seeking to raise awareness of the human rights of older people, educating older people, family members, policy makers, service providers, adult educators and the wider public by providing them with concrete examples of infringements of older people’s human rights in practice.

To add personal impact to the project, the partners collaborated with older adults in each partner country, collecting stories that highlighted their experiences of human rights infringement – stories that were then developed into monologue scripts by GSA and their partnering Italian theatre company Teatro Di Imbarco.

As Two Moons approaches its final stages, and the world seems to become an ever more threatening place for the older members of society, their voices ring through in these monologues, all of which will be performed and recorded in the coming weeks. The project’s aim to raise awareness of human rights for older people has never been more important, and will continue to hold significance in the months to come as our older people emerge from cocooning, and society takes stock of how it will be shaped in the post Coronavirus future.

For further information on Two Moons visit the project’s website here. Two Moons EU Erasmus Plus

To date the Gaiety School of Acting has collaborated with European partners on five Erasmus Plus projects, addressing topics such as intercultural education in schools, intergenerationalism, volunteering and alzheimers in older adults. See here to find out more.