Unit 2 Storytelling to address intergenerational issues

  • As one can read to a recent UN factsheet, intergenerational relations have typically focused on sharing knowledge, cultural norms, traditions, mutual care, support and exchange of resources.
  • Some numbers say: by 2050 the number of people over 60 is projected to increase by 50% in developed countries and triple in developing countries, with global life expectancy increasing to 75 years. This means that the world is aging rapidly, as longevity is rising and fertility is declining, especially in Western countries.
  • While older adults may have more opportunities to share knowledge and resources with younger generations, they are also more likely to depend on the support of younger generations for longer periods.
  • Multigenerational families with intergenerational support and reliance are rapidly declining, especially in European, both urban and rural areas. New habits and way of life of young people have a demographic impact, as they choose to abstain from reproduction.
  • Thus, isolation, and few possibilities to interact with younger people are traits of the new era for the older people. Lack of technology confidence underplay online attempts of networking and bonding.
  • Within this situation, the idea of intergenerational solidarity brought up, in order to eliminate discriminatory stereotypes of both older and younger people.
  • European Commission put effort to spread the idea of intergenerational solidarity and this resulted in the creation of fora, like AGE – Platform Europe, a European network of non-profit organisations of and for people aged 50+, which aims to give voice and opportunities to 200 million citizens aged 50+ in the European Union.
  • Intergenerational practices, like these promoted by AGE, promise that regular chances for intergenerational meetings can decrease stereotypes and enhance awareness of the diversity of situations within an age group and of the common challenges being faced intergenerationally.
  • The power of storytelling, as described earlier in the module, ensures that it could be a vehicle for the purpose of intergenerational solidarity.