Young adults ‘benefit from time with elderly’

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Age Scotland survey released on International Day of the Older Persons.

1st October 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Young adults aged 18-34 say that they feel more positive after spending time with older friends or relatives, according to a new survey.

Research for Age Scotland found that 59% of respondents feel either proud, happy uplifted or inspired when spending time with someone over the age of 65.

The findings coincide with International Day of the Older Persons on October 1 and come in the midst of a campaign by Age Scotland called Share What You Love, which aims to cut loneliness in half by 2025.

A recent survey showed that 425,000 older people in Scotland state that they feel lonely.

Age Scotland say that as many as 200,000 older people in this country go at least half a week without receiving a phone call or visit from anyone.

Through Share What You Love, the charity is encouraging people to spend even just a small amount of time with an older person doing something they enjoy and, in turn, give that person the chance to get out of the house, meet new people and feel more involved in society.

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “Some often make the mistake of focusing on the age gap between generations, while our findings show that there is a far greater connection linking younger and older people in Scotland.

“There is also a perception that young people are obliged to spend time with older friends or relatives when it is actually just as enriching an experience for them and they are happier, prouder and generally more inspired.

“We are trying to bridge the gap and bring people together through Share What You Love.

“Over the next five years if we can get 20,000 people annually to take regular action and share what they love with an older person, we can cut loneliness in Scotland in half. From sharing a hobby to something simple that brings joy - whether it’s going to the cinema, playing a board game or cooking a meal - we believe that we can collectively make a difference.

“The whole idea behind this campaign is to get people to think and act differently. It’s not about raising money– it’s about people’s attitudes, actions, and their time.”

The charity hopes that people will be inspired to plan time with an older friend or relative, whether it’s getting baking, going to a football game, an art class, yoga, doing some gardening together, walking the dog, going to the theatre or a day out, like a spa day.

Age Scotland is also encouraging people to get involved on social media, using the tag #ShareWhatYouLove.