Protocol for a Paper Tapestry: Using Reminiscence to Create an Intergenerational Textual and Visual Record of Youth

By Suzanne E. Goopy and Lorraine Venturato.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper details the protocol for an intergenerational reminiscence activity designed to promote the capacity of older people living in a long-term aged care facility (LTC). The activity focuses on the development of shared memories of youth through weekly interactions with adolescents. This will culminate in a ‘paper tapestry’ of images and stories around the theme ‘remembering youth’, co-created by the researchers, and older and younger participants. It will be of significant social value and can be exhibited locally and in regional areas. Using a creative activity to elicit and express the perspectives of older people builds on the successful work of Goopy (Goopy and Lloyd 2006; Goopy, Lloyd and Blakely 2007; Goopy and Howard 2008). The impact of the intervention will be evaluated through quantitative measures – pre/post measures of depression, loneliness and worth, and quality of life – and qualitative tools – interviews, focus groups, observations, photographs, audio-recordings, and artifacts (papers, documents and video). The project is significant as it focuses on capacity building and productive ageing for those often mistaken as being unproductive by virtue of their age (NSA 2008). It highlights the capacities of and the value that older people can add to the social and cultural development of younger generations by drawing on key strengths of our elders – memory, story telling and experience. It will also refine a model that can be rolled out in other RACFs and similar organisations.

Keywords: Remembering, Youth, Memory, Experience, Paper Tapestry

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.29-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 586.925KB).

Dr. Suzanne E. Goopy

Senior Lecturer, Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Suzanne Goopy is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and a Member, Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, at Griffith University, Australia. She is a visual ethnographer with a particular interest in the role of the visual in research as both a data collection tool and a research outcome. Her particular interest is in life history and exploring the relationship between memory, youth, culture, and identity. Her most recent works include two collaborative projects that have culminated in a touring exhibition (My Home My History – with Lloyd and Blakely) and an ethno-documentary film (“Mangiare bene” with Howard). She is currently working on a project that looks at the influence of American culture on youth in Queensland, Australia between 1941 and 1955.

Dr. Lorraine Venturato

Research Fellow, Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Lorraine Venturato is a Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and a member of the Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation at Griffith University, Australia. Her current research is focused on service development and the development and testing of models of care and staffing frameworks for the aged care industry, including workforce development and professional practice models. She is also engaged in translational research through action research and practice development in aged care. Her clinical research focuses on quality of life and models of care for people living with dementia.