ELDERLY PEOPLE'S MANPOWER
Elderly people could become part of a JOB SEARCHING NETWORK . Most elderly have grandchildren who have been living and working in the country for a long time. Many of their grandchildren occupy important positions. While it is easy for a boss to throw a resume into garbage, it is very difficult not to pay attention to his grandmother's request .
The elderly are a perfect channel for connecting people who are looking for work to those who are already working.
ELDERLY PEOPLE HAVE FREE TIME.
The elderly could collaborate with manpower or with a private employment agency on such an important issue as finding work. They would:
1. help unemployed people find work.
2. shift attention from their health issues and depressing thoughts about upcoming death to another person's problems.
3. help to boost self esteem.
4. moove from their isolation, creating connections with other age groups, which might prove to be both helpful and useful.
SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS:
Loneliness is a number one problem for the elderly.
Root of the problem lies in being liberated from all duties. Society made elderly people free from all chores and by so doing turned them into people who are not needed.
For centuries the elderly have retained memory about the past, took care of their grandchildren, gave wise advice, helped young people to find a job or a spouse, created precious embroideries to be passed on from generation to generation, etc.
By destroying traditional roles played by elderly people, our consumer society has inflicted upon itself a form of an Alzheimer's desease.
GRANDMOTHERS COACH AS AN EMERGENCY LANDING FOR SINGLE PEOPLE GOING THROUGH AN EMOTIONAL TURBULENCE.
Often elderly women are seeking a companion to share their space in exchange for some small services. I have seen a few cases where younger women and men benefitted from living temporarily with older women to whom they were not related because they found there necessary warmth after the divorce or painful separation. Both parties are not alone, which helps one's mood, but at the same time a younger person has the freedom to seek a new companion, has someone to come home to, and, willingly, has a free private councellor with an enormous life experience. I would suggest for shelters to collaborate with the elderly seeing their coaches as an excellent temporary alternative emergency landing.
ROOFTOP AND BALCONY GARDENING
Rooftop and balcony gardening should be encouraged by housing authorities because it would embellish buildings, uplift elderly people's mood by connecting them on an everyday basis to something that is constantly growing. It would also provide high quality food suppliments for many low income people.
This programme requires above all permission. Pottery and tools could be acquired through the recycling network, while assistance could be gained through volunteer help.
A brief course introducing elderly people to the main tendencies of fashion today will enable them to understand what their grandchildren prefer to wear and why. Rather than just giving money or making industrially produced impersonal gifts, grandmothers will be taught how to mix already existing elements with modern clothing, which could be a special lace or a precious garment , evoking a particular memory garment with modern clothing. This technique does not require any sewing skills. It is simplified to the maximum. Making a new composition from given elements ancient traditions where elderly made clothing for their children would come back. The proposed activity preferably should be done together with grandchildren.
Elderly people's wealth is not only their personal life experience but also very often knowledge of important personalities.
In one old age home I have met a gentleman who personally has spent 20 days in Artec, a famous vacation resort, with Gagarin, while another lady used to know Krupskaja, Lenin's wife.
Of course, a lot can be read in the books about famous historical figures, but elderly people's memories might be precious as well.
Thousands of volunteers visit elderly people every week just to chat. If they were to be “armed” with simple video cameras, they could certainly get a lot of precious unedited information about history, old ways of doing things. Such memories could be edited and collected in one gigantic web site dedicated to elderly people's memories, open to younger generations.