Sandra’s keys is an “escape room on older adult mistreatment” that was co-designed by researchers, community partners and professionals in the field of social gerontology to raise public awareness of senior mistreatment. Escape rooms are a sub-genre of immersive problem-solving games that have become popular over the past decade among the young adult age cohort (Boschi, 2016). Small teams of two to four individuals are invited to enter a room, where they are asked to solve puzzles and riddles together. This escape room was themed around issues of older adult mistreatment, embedding examples and red flags into the games narrative. The room combined environmental storytelling, puzzles designed around forms of mistreatment, and an overarching narrative to immerse participants in a messy and subtle situation of mistreatment. Based on a collaboration between ACT, Respecting Elders: Communities against Abuse (RECAA) and the Centre de recherche et d’expertise en gérontologie sociale (CREGÉS), the project used a collaborative approach to design, prioritizing an appropriate representation of the issue within the game. After a successful showing of the game at the B/OLD symposium, the project is looking to expand and provide more opportunities to raise awareness within the community.

Dr. Kim Sawchuk, Concordia University

Constance Lafontaine, Concordia University

Scott DeJong, Concordia University


Anne Caines, RECAA

Sarita Israel, CREGES

Jess Marcotte, Concordia University



Research Areas:

Older Adult Mistreatment,

Raising Public Awareness

Intergenerational Design

Game Design

ACT Partners
Concordia University

RECAA (Respecting Elders, Communities Against Abuse)

CREGES (Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology)

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