Bridges of Intergenerational Approach
“Building stronger, more connected communities.” The vision of the BETA project is to network seniors ‘care facilities and institutions for daily care of children, aiming to develop and disseminate a good new practice ready to become international.
With the average age of people over 65 increasing, nowadays people live longer and healthier than in the past (“Ageing Europe”, EU 2020). However, senior adults’ quality of life goes beyond health including social and psychological factors, highlighting factors such as social isolation and lack of motivation which endanger their overall health.
It is worth noticing that research presents the dominant importance of seniors’ digital literacy transformation as a precondition for social inclusion, especially in the new conditions formed after the COVID-19 crisis.
Intergenerational interaction activities have already been successfully implemented in Greece, under the “Larissa Learning City” initiative on the topic of Citizenship Education. The BETA project is based on this tested example, which is awarded as a good practice by UNESCO (2017). Moreover, BETA aims to support seniors’ social inclusion by involving them both in on-site and online learning activities and communication with children (ages 7-12) in local Laboratories.
While professional interest from a variety of fields is increasing on the topic, intergenerational interaction is found to be supportive of seniors’ social inclusion and at the same time keeps new generations grounded in their national history providing a link to the past.
In this frame seniors are offered opportunities to regularly interact with children and develop simple digital skills and English language competencies to achieve access to contemporary lifestyle, reinforcing their efforts to continue being active and resilient citizens. Besides this, children have chances to learn from the elderly experience within carefully designed, regular communication paths. Involved in learn-by-doing activities, children are expected to develop empathy regarding active aging and inclusion.
The vision of the BETA project is to network seniors ‘care facilities and institutions for daily care of children, aiming to develop and disseminate a good new practice ready to become international.
On a pilot basis, the BETA curriculum will be implemented by three organizations from Greece, Italy, and Cyprus. It is designed to be tested through training that upscale elderly care and children care professionals’ profiles and Laboratories. An interactive digital platform is being developed, the design of which will take into consideration the recently recorded needs of the elderly. Contemporary needs like social networking, digital skills, and well-being will be examined via an international post-pandemic survey. The interactive BETA platform is being designed to facilitate intergenerational networking as leverage for a vibrant community that promotes inclusion. A coherent product, the project policy recommendations for active aging will be published in the “Bridges for Intergenerational Approach Theory and Practice” guidebook
1.Increase seniors’ social inclusion
2.Involve seniors in meaningful regular activities
3.Motivate seniors to stay active
4.Bridge the differences between generations
5.Train social workers and professionals in older people and children care services on how to implement a solid
6.Create opportunities for exchanges of good practices among municipalities
7.Create for older people the frame to transfer their knowledge – experiences to children
8.Provide seniors and children with lifelong learning opportunities via reverse mentoring
9.Cultivate seniors with basic digital & English language competencies to stay digitally fit
10.Cultivate adult trainers’ competences
- Encourage multipliers to transfer the good practice
12.Break down restrictive perceptions, social barriers against ageism, and age-related stereotypes
- Strengthen ties of both generations with the local community
14.Create a vibrant network of municipalities that implements the BETA practice
15.Sustain social inclusion through digital education
16.Create strong ties between municipalities across E.E. focusing on active aging policies
17.Strengthen professional profile of social workers and educators toward inclusion
18.Offer update tools and a modern methodology to social workers and education
Coordinator: Open Up, Greek Scientific Association of Innovation / GREECE