Bridging The Spanish Generation Gap
It is without questions that the Spanish are amongst the longest living people on the planet. As noted in our previous article, The World's Oldest Man, there are many factors that contribute to this, but it seems to be mostly influenced by diet and cultural standards. Over the next 50 years, Spain will have the largest elderly population next to Japan, according to figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Authorities, thankfully, are starting to address a pressing issue that spans across the world: loneliness among senior citizens.
Ourense, a Spanish province with more pensioners than Social Security contributors, is leading an effort where seniors and children are brought together at specially designed daycare centers. A new center has been completed on the outskirts of the city that will welcome 80 senior citizens and 82 preschoolers, who will have two separate areas but a large common room. Elderly residents will be able to see the children at all times and will have a common space to do activities and play games.
“It’s kind of a return to the traditional model in which grandparents and even great-grandparents once lived together with their descendants, leading to mutually enriching relationships,” says Noelia Pérez, of the mayor’s office. “There is no doubt that the elderly will get the most enjoyment out of it, although children will also benefit from the individualized attention,” said Perfecto Rodríguez, manager of the Galician Consortium for Equality and Wellbeing.
The benefits for the elderly include “a sense that they are leaving a legacy behind, making a contribution to the future” by helping with the education of younger generations. “And they improve their social relations, which is vital to longevity, as well as improving their physical condition as a result of the activity they are forced to do.”
As for the children, Sánchez said they will acquire “a much more positive outlook on old age.”
We hope you've enjoyed learning about how the Spanish government is Bridging The Spanish Generation Gap. Do you think this will help solve the problem of loneliness among senior citizens? Let us know below!