Celebrating Older Peoples Day with Generations Working Together

Today (1st October 2021) is International Day of Older Persons around the World and Generations Working Together (GWT) want to celebrate the day and acknowledge it’s an important time to remember the vital contribution that older people make to our society, both now and for the future. The world is getting older with more people living longer and we must celebrate this great success in our longevity and reach out across generations to find common bonds and links that bring us together. Research shows that staying active remains the best way to preserve health for as long as possible. Along with physical exercise however, studies have highlighted the importance of encouraging older adults to be mentally active as well and looking at intergenerational interventions to bring young and old together. In following with the theme from the United Nations ‘Digital Equity for All Ages’.

Digital equity highlights the need to ensure that older people can meaningfully and safely participate in the digital world. The increasing role that information and communication technologies such as computers, smartphones, and the Internet play in daily lives have the potential to benefit our lives. We need to ensure that no one is left behind. Digital inclusion and rights of older people are key to foster healthy ageing.

Intergenerational learning and digital skills

Volunteering and / or learning can make a real difference in getting involved in offering skills and experience that can help or support others in their working life or in their community. Much more attention is being paid to lifelong learning, so that people are equipped to change jobs throughout their lives and continue to learn in their retirement. Many older people who are not digitally connected are missing out on or are at a clear disadvantage with many things now happening online. There are huge benefits of intergenerational learning in the community, and this is something that we at GWT want to share and celebrate. Older people have so much to offer in their experiences and skills and this is often overlooked in our modern society due to attitudes of being forgotten because they are no longer economically active.

GWT encourages older people to get involved and learn from younger people too. It’s a two-way street and reciprocal so that both groups can share and learn together. There may be challenges for some older people using technology and learning again can be a chore but building confidence to keep up with new technology may assist them to build for their own future in an ever-changing world. Get to Know Your Techno is a good example of bringing generations together in the local community to support digital technology for older people and young people looking to do more volunteering. The project aimed to tackle isolation and reduce loneliness for older people in our community as well as addressing stereotypes between the generations.

In the words of Nelson Mandela…

“A society that does not value its older people, denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them”.

Get in touch

We want to celebrate and shout out that older adults bring wisdom and experience to the workplace and any community. The young and old need each other, both now and especially in the future. Get in touch to share your thoughts or find out more and join GWT here, it’s FREE to anyone living in Scotland.