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The HATS Manual -> The Program -> Goals

The overall goals of the Health Action Theatre for Seniors project are:

  • To improve the health conditions of seniors who lack English skills and/or who have low literacy skills through increased problem-solving, information-sharing, leadership, and strengthened social support networks.

  • To increase meaningful dialogue, increased awareness and community action across Toronto regarding key health issues of concern for seniors such as elder abuse, community safety, nutrition and consumer empowerment with respect to health services.

  • To increase cross-cultural and intergenerational understanding of health issues affecting seniors.

  • To develop and disseminate Action Theatre Training Sessions and Manual that will facilitate the replication of Action Theatre initiatives across other language groups and neighbourhoods.

  • To evaluate and further demonstrate the effectiveness of Action Theatre as a tool for community learning (promoting exploration of issues that validate and build upon personal experiences) and as a health promotion strategy for reaching key at-risk groups.

  • The Health Action Theatre by Seniors (HATS) project emerged from the Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness Project at St. Christopher House. With previous experience in delivering community programs, St. Chris seniors and staff understood that public education that relies primarily on written and passive learning opportunities has limited effectiveness in improving awareness and involvement of seniors with low English language and/or literacy skills.

    New learning strategies needed to be developed. These strategies must be able to transcend linguistic and literacy barriers while creating meaningful opportunities for information sharing, identification and problem solving, leadership training and the strengthening of informal support networks.

    The HATS process has been directed by the feedback given by participating seniors and has involved several components throughout the years. These include raising awareness of the issue of abuse and neglect of older persons to St. Christopher House's senior participants (English, Portuguese and Vietnamese speaking), the formation of support groups, peer support training, and public education targeting seniors and the community at large.


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