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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2008): Care of the elderly - overseas

Intergenerational learning and the contributions of older people

S. Newman and A. Hatton-Yeo

Ageing Horizons, issue 8, 2008, p. 31-39

Demographic welfare models have made it essential to rethink the way we think about ageing and older people. There is a global recognition of the need to see older people as learning resources and assets to their communities. Therefore, policy makers need to provide frameworks and to promote the active ageing of their citizens. As older workers remain longer in paid employment, they need to take an active role in supporting young people at work. The increasing importance of education, and concerns over the impact of educational failure in a proportion of young people, provide a developing role for older people as mentors to raise students' achievement and self-esteem. In an era of rapid social change and mobility, elders have a vital part to play in the transmission of culture. To sum up, older people, by their presence in communities and neighbourhoods, have an essential role as educators, leaders and role models, and in empowering the young.

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