Encounters 2013 was a theatre project by the Senior Foundation directed to enhance the quality of life of elderly people. The aim was to create connection between the work of the carers and artists and bring art to the lives of elderly people living in retirement homes.

I was part of the group that was organized by the theatre company Höyhentämö as one section of this larger project. We were seven people that went to meet demented elderly people in homes. We met them personally: once without any plan, just talk with them and find out what do they enjoy, what do they miss, what would enrichen their life. Then we would come back another day with something that was prepared based on the first meeting. For example, I met a hundred year old lady who had loved skiing and music – so the next time I brought some songs and books with pictures and stories about skiing to share with her.

It was very simple, but rewarding – an aesthetizisation of a moment in their lives. The staff of the home seemed very pleased and said that ”nobody comes just to spend time with them”.

The project was based on Höyhentämö’s performative date concept Lovers’ Match Making Agency .

COORDINATION: Aarni Korpela and Elisa Itkonen.

ENCOUNTERERS: Saara Hannus, Elisa Itkonen, Aarni Korpela, Tuomas Laitinen, Anu Leponiemi, Matti Sillanpää and Juha Sääski.