Prevention and Communication Training for the Elderly aged 65+


2016 - 2018

Project webpage: http://www.walkandtalkproject.eu/

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About the project:

The “Walk’n’Talk” project’s background is based on the demographic changes in Europe and an aging European population. The elderly aged 65 and above and out of working age, are representing an increasingly important group. For providers of adult education it has become promising to focus on providing a suitable course offer for this target group. Empowering the target group to fully participate in society and remain active and independent in their different socio-economic circumstances requires physical and mental competences, which is important to live an autonomous life even into old age.

Seven organisations coming from seven different European countries with a long time experience in adult education in general and teaching senior citizens in particular, developed, implemented, disseminated and exploited in close collaboration a set of new, flexible and useful non-formal active aging training courses targeted at senior citizens 65+ that are based on the Walk’n’Talk methodology. As the name implies, these courses do not take place within the limited space situation of conventional classes, but outside in nature. The seniors in these courses walk in small groups, talk – and learn.


The Walk and Talk method finds its starting point in the therapeutic setting and is known as “Walk and Talk Therapy”. Walk and Talk Therapy originated in the USA in the 1980s and has proved to be an effective method. It is a therapeutic intervention, combining talk therapy, walking and the outdoors (Doucette, 2004). Several additional research studies show that physical activity can enhance the mental and physical health of clients (Dixon, Mauzey, & Hall, 2003; Dubbert, 2002; Martinsen, 2008).
With the Walk’n’Talk project the partners created a useful training to foster healthy habits (by walking) and lifelong learning (by talking in English or developing other new competences in various subjects) among senior learners.


The project’s consortium was set up of a combination of partners with long-time experience in adult education:
- CIDET, Centre for the innovation and development of education and technology, a training and consultancy company focused on adult learning and technology enhanced education (Spain)
- DAFF, Dachverband burgenlaendischer Frauen-, Maedchen- und Familienberatungsstellen is the head organization of the women counselling centres in Burgenland, AT
- ProEduca, a non-profit organisation providing professional educational and counselling services in the field of human resources and project management; CZ
- SCC, Sastamala Community College, FI
- VHS, Volkshochschule Lingen GmbH, a non-profit, non-governmental organization set in the rural area of Emsland, DE
- AdM, Archivio della Memoria, a cultural association, carrying out historical, anthropological and sociological research activity, Rome, IT
- UAIC, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Psychology and Sciences, Iasi, RO
This heterogeneity was an asset to the project. All partners have a specific expertise in working with the elderly and provide health-related courses and physical activities to senior learners and this fact enabled each partner develop the course under different circumstances, using different sources and topics.


The main activities planned and carried out were:
  • - performance of the reserach with the aim to collect relevant information about the perception of the quality life among seniors 65+;
  • - based on the results of the research, create a curriculum for the course built upon the Walk’n’Talk approach;
  • - develop the training courses, one per each partner and pilot them in the real condition with the group of seniors;
  • - develop a set of training materials that are necessary for the courses;
  • - develop guidelines to help the potential users of these courses (or other courses based on the Walk’n’Talk approach) to communicate with stakeholders, especially the course participants, educators, authorities etc.


The main finding from our research was the observation that a good physical health, the quality of relationships and the desire to be autonomous are the most relevant issues at senior age. Therefore, an effective practical approach - a training course - that could make possible to achieve these goals as efficiently as possible must take into account the strongest reasons that can lead a senior to get involved in physical activity. Those reasons are: to be physically active out of the desire to be physically healthy, to be with others and having enjoyable social interactions and the ability to face new challenges and to take own decisions. Considering these facts in the design of educational activities for seniors 65+ is essential for the success of the course. It has been approved in the pilot courses and many happy feedbacks from the satisfied participants.

Project outputs (English language version):

Seniors in the European Union and Well-Being as a subjective perception of the quality of their lives

Curriculum for Walk'n'Talk Pact 65+ courses

Training material Walk’n’Talk Pact 65+ courses

Stakeholders Management and Communication Guidelines for Walk’n’Talk courses

Project outputs (Czech language version):

Senioři v Evropské Unii: pocit životní pohody jako odraz kvality života

Kurikulum pro kurzy Walk'n'Talk Pact 65+

Manuál pro komunikaci a organizaci práce se zainteresovanými skupinami v kurzech Walk'n'Talk Pact 65+



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