Problème : Quel problème ce projet essaie-t-il d'adresser ?
Everybody knows about the extened lifetime-expectancy and the fact that classical biographical patterns (i.e. "normal biography") have changed during the last decades. In consequence "these newly gained" years, younger seniors (50+) exhibit a tendency to fade-out or "delay" facing age-related tasks and challenges at a later stage of life. In addition, there is a societal tendency for “re-responsibilizing” the individual for his/her successful ageing, whereupon offers and activities by organisations for the elderly are tailored to fit best the needs and interests of the "older" seniors (aged 70+ years).
Paradoxically, even though everyone seems to acknowlegde the necessity to "adjust", there is much difficulty to implement an establish concrete actions: On the individual level, procrastination, immunization or even resignation depict main "barriers" to a pro-active adjustment. On the institutional level, work with "younger seniors" is a challenging task, which is - at the same - time often executed by precisely "elderly" professionals or volunteers, who are not sharing the same interests. If the increasing number of elderly should life autonomously and with dignity - despite decreasing public social security ressources - elderly person require solid social networks and easy access to a welfare mix!
- few persons are taking advantage of the offers for seniors (only 20% and these persons are, in general, aged 70+; only 0,5 ‰ are aged between 50-60 years)
- those seniors participating at these activities are already active and retired
- going to a Senior Club is indirectly associated with an "outing" as "senior", which is implicitly associated with a stereotypical image of being an "old" and "passive consumer" rather than an "active creator" of one's ageing process.
- institutional activities and offers for the elderly seem rather detached and disconnected from each other. Although all offers are addressing persons aged 50+ years, the acceptance of the different offers varies dramatically depending on the topics/content (offers addressing work-related issues or lifelong learning are more appreciated and much more valued than classical senior activities, e.g. senior hubs, walking, gaming,..).
- How to reach the "younger" seniors (still involved in working life) and stimulate mental adjustment to subtle upcoming age-related changes?
Solution: Quelle est la solution proposée? S.v.p soyez précis!
In order to reach the "young seniors" (distancing themselves from the ageing terminology ) RBS is choosing a radical change of paradigm regarding gerontological constructs and terminology. Concepts like "active ageing", intergenerational relations, Senior Clubs, etc. are - at best - reaching persons aged 70+ years and reveal to be either deterrent or inappropriate for persons aged 50+.
The recent gain in lifetime-expenctancy comes along with a shift in the "normal biography" prolonging the phase of middle adulthood of 20 years. In consequence, the classical terminology (e.g. childhood, youth, adulthood, old age) no longer applies to the living (and ageing) realities of the 50-70 years old persons thus making a refraiming of the terminology crucial! Therefore, we consequently replaced "young senior age" by a new (rather uncontroversial) term "adulthood 2.0"
Refraiming terminology and concepts: On the basis of an "essayistic" theoretical framework on "Adulthood 2.0" gerontological terms were consequently replaced by developmental psychology concepts to describe age-related processes, changes and challenges taking place during the life-phase 50-70 years. In this reagrd all project-related actions (i.e slogans, titles and content for events and manifestations) were elaborated without making the gerontological background obvious. By choosing the right slogan for an event, e.g. "Sprachlos oder sprich drauf los" (addressing communication-related changes and problems between young and older employees) it became possible to attract most exclusively the target population! The event "L'Europe au Comptoir" - an open discussion round with a EU-politician organized in a local pub - revealed to be another successful concept to reach the taget population (50+). Since december 2012, RBS started a campaign with "big events, open discussion rounds, high media and press presence (articles on adulthood 2.0, coverages, interviews, conceptualization and editing of the magazine MID-LIFE available in bookstalls). With the support of several communities and social commissions we started the RBS-Tour, which is linked with a proper webseite www.rbs-tour.lu (displaying all new activities, upcoming events, related press articles, photos and videos).
Thus, in a 6-months time more of the target population were reached than during the whole active ageing year 2012