Young people 65 and over in Cork are playing a vital role in society and young people’s lives through volunteering, mentoring, providing care and making financial contributions, according to a new report based on a Republic of Ireland survey of 1,657 people. It turns out that it does its job.
Of the six countries included in this pan-European study, Ireland was found to be the most age-friendly country.
Unifying Generations: An Edwards LifeSciences report building pathways for intergenerational solidarity was launched at a recent event in Dublin. The event was attended by Mary Butler TD, Minister of Health for Mental Health and Older Adults. It advocates changing perceptions about third generations and recognizing their value in building intergenerational cohesion.
Recognizing the contribution of older people to Irish society, Minister Butler said: This demographic change is often seen as a burden when in fact older people are a very valuable asset to our society.
“The Unifying Generations report recognizes the role that young people aged 65 and over play in our country. The lived experience of older people enriches all of our lives.”
Contrary to existing perceptions, the survey highlighted the important social contributions of those 65 and older. In Cork, 27% of them provide family support such as shopping and driving, and 26% take care of family members. In addition, all respondents in Cork provide some financial support to young families, specifically donating to vacation and leisure (63%), household goods (33%) and education (20%). .
Most importantly, the report found that among the European countries surveyed, Irish people aged 65 and over are the most engaged in their communities, especially when it comes to volunteering.
49% of great-grandparents and 29% of grandparents volunteer in their communities According to European averages, nearly a third (31%) volunteer in their communities, compared to 19% . This is especially true for her 65+ in Cork, with 19% doing volunteer work in the community.
Mitchellstown resident Liz Downs, 73, is deeply involved in her local community and serves as area commissioner for the Girl Guides Senior Chapter in Cork. Liz especially praises Mitchellstown for being her friendliest town. She finds time to work with the Community She is a Champion, Age She Friendly She works with Ireland, serves as Executive Director of the Co-op Foundation, and works with Muintir Na Tire.
Liz especially feels that young people can learn a lot from spending time with older generations. They share their thoughts on life and the use of technology and we share experiences of young life without technology. Except for 30 minutes, they are not allowed to call.
84% of adults aged 18-40 in Cork say the support they receive from those 65+ in their daily lives is very or somewhat important. Additionally, Ireland is second only to Spain with her 87%, above her European average of 83%.
Ashwin Carr, Business Manager, Edwards Lifesciences Ireland, said: “Raised by my grandmother, I can speak directly to the importance and benefits of younger people being guided and supported by older generations. He has given me wisdom and guidance since I was a child and into adulthood.”
The report also highlights the many benefits of intergenerational interaction. According to people (18-40 in Cork) listening and giving advice (59%), making friends and friendships (54%) and sharing historical or cultural knowledge (48%) ) was the most valuable skill that older people could offer.
It is also promising that intergenerational relationships are particularly valued in Ireland compared to other European countries, with greater intergenerational ties being highly desired. Of all the countries surveyed, Ireland had the highest number of respondents across all age groups, believing that closer relationships between different generations are a good thing (85%). Whereas in County Cork he said 56%) had friends from different generations and 40% were open. 5% higher than the national average.
Young people in Cork also feel a strong need for mentorship, with 34% saying that education programs offered by national and local governments help them do more with older generations. The desire to learn is not unidirectional.
Older generations recognize the need to improve their digital skills, with 53% saying they most want to learn technology and digital media from younger generations.
“Now we need new initiatives to empower and foster intergenerational interactions across society, beyond the family sphere, at work and in our communities. and young people seek an exchange of knowledge, share many interests and enjoy each other’s company.The will is there and we (individuals, organizations, societies) together to find a way out for more life We need to work hard,” said Dr Catherine Elliot O’Dare, Assistant Professor of Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin.
The report makes three recommendations to ensure Ireland continues to move towards a more united society. A scheme that allows older people to interact more digitally.
For more information and to download the full report, please visit https://www.edwards.com/gb/aboutus/unifying-generations/.