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News Gerontology
Anton Trstenjak Institute
Publications / Quality of Old Age Back

VOLUME 6, NUMBER 4, 2003

Social status of the elderly
Ana Krajnc

Following the retirement, one's social status weakens considerably. In fact, it becomes weaker already a couple of years before this event. A retired person simply counts less. Since being socially mobile is everybody’s natural tendency, weakening of the social status hurts. How to prevent the social status of the elderly from weakening? Social and economic developmental tendencies suggest that each society, each state should use and develop the abilities, knowledge and skills of all the inhabitants. Slovenia is by no means an exception and is not in a position to overtly declare that half a million of its inhabitants are already finished. At least not without a great damage to its stability! A social rapport is one of giving and receiving Therefore a retired person should contribute to the society, if he or she wants his or her social status to be equal to the status of the others. Action, activities, preservation of self-confidence and self-esteem are necessary for a retired person to retain his or her social status. Not only is this important for the retired person himself or herself, but it is also important for all other generations who may thus acquire the feeling of continuity and safety.

Key words: social status, retired person, elderly, social mobility, developmental tendencies

Does Lifelong Education Really Goes On From Cradle to grave?

Dušana Findeisen

Policy of ageing and old age in Slovenia prevents retired people from continuing their life, being useful to their environment, being involved with it in relations of giving and receiving. It prevents retired people from developing. Elderly people are not a monolithical group and old age cannot be viewed only as advanced age and state of dependence. Consequently, employment opportunities for the elderly in the third age, work exchange links for the elderly and various educational and, moreover, learning opportunities for the elderly are needed. Lifelong education can not be stopped when one reaches 40 years of age and when turns into an elderly worker. Elderly people learn for a variety of reasons and not only for personal growth. The author describes the changing concept of retirement underlining the importance of pre-retirement education as a way to prepare for "the professionally inactive period of life".

Key words: old age, ageing, elderly, elderly workers, policy of old age and ageing, personal growth, pre-retirement education, lifelong education and learning.


Slovenian Third Age University in the past 20 years
Alijana Šantej

The article opposes the social status of the elderly and the individual psychological experience of ageing and old age. Whereas the first has been changing throughout history the latter has been closely related to the way in which an old man or an old woman has been looked upon by the society. Individual, psychological experience of aging and old age has been dependent on the kind of old age the society permits or enables and an old man or an old woman to live, or the kind of old age it imposes on him or her. The author describes the Slovenian Third Age University, which is a result of the continuous voluntary endeavours of the professionals specialised in adult education sciences, mentors and numerous elderly students. The basic vocation of this organisation being the education of the elderly for living, self-organisation and work it has been also involved in public campaigning for a different consideration of the elderly and old age.

Key words: education of the elderly, the third age university, development of the elderly, study circle, lifelong learning, lifelong education, integration in the society

The elderly in the Russian transitional society: social safety and coping responses
Natalia V. Tchernina in Efim A. Tchernin

The Russian elderly worked out a lot of coping responses, including active coping responses, based mainly on possibilities offered by the home economy, and by grey and black economies. The home economy of pensioners is mainly based on extensive and intensive use of their labour. After retirement the time devoted to the home economy is increasing drastically. Different types of services by the elderly to their own families and to the children's families are distinguished by men and women. The continuation of labour activities after retirement is taking place under circumstances when a considerable number of the elderly cannot afford adequate medical services and medicaments. The elderly are owning considerable (to Russian norms) property: privatised apartments, garages, subsidiary plots et cetera. The possession of diversified family property is conductive to self-employment. Personal assets and savings of the elderly are not sufficient enough to secure a decent life. Social institutions for the integration of the elderly into social life, for overcoming isolation and loneliness are almost non-existent. The most common sphere of the elderly activities is their family, often consisting of two or three generations. The goal of their activities is the preservation of the family and averting poverty and degradation.

Key words: coping responses, personal safety-net, income life-cycles, home economy, health and leisure deprivation, social isolation.

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