Seniors in the city, seniors everywhere

A comparative study of elderly people’s everyday life
in different EU member states 

Demographic change is one of the great societal challenges that European states currently face. Expectancy of life is increasing in all European countries while birth rates are decreasing. The absolute number of elderly people and their share of the population increases continuously. In 2012, 20 % of Europe’s population was aged 60 and older, in 2050 this rate will raise up to 40 %.

 

At the present time, one third of the population living in Treptow-Köpenick, one of Berlin’s eastern boroughs, is at least 60 years old. According to experts the number of people aged between 65 and 80 years will increase by 40 %, the number of people over 80 years by 140 % (within the next four decades). Today, the demographic change expected in Germany within the next 40 years is already observable in Treptow-Köpenick.

Additionally, seniors are very often said to be a potential problem for society: pensions, ageing as dependency, problems in retirement homes … The communes are the first to react on local demographic change which becomes more and more difficult due to public sector’s sparse funds.

With this being said, this ERASMUS+ project concentrates on elderly people who mostly appear in students’ life as (great-) grandparents or neighbors. The students’ participating in this Erasmus+ project delve into the everyday life of their grand parents’ generation, show greater understanding and learn to be more tolerant towards these persons’ needs. Additionally, students experience life in other EU member states, they meet peers, improve their foreign language skills which motivates them to further language learning.

Within the project the following topics are discussed:

  1. self-perception of elderly people and their perception by others

  2. age-appropriate housing

  3. prevention of displacement from the usual living environment / of care dependency

  4. (medical) care services

  5. mobility adapted to different generations‘ requirements: public space / infrastructure / traffic

  6. exploit the potential of people “ageing actively”: education, culture, leisure time facilities provided by municipal institutions

Students examine the enumerated topics in the towns or villages the participating schools are located in. In so doing

  1. the living environments of seniors in the different EU member states are described and

  2. compared which enables students to

  3. make concrete suggestions for how to improve elderly people’s everyday life. 

We organize the following activities for the purpose of our project:

© 2018 by Evangelische Schule Köpenick

Seniors in the city, seniors everywhere