By the end of the year 2060 in UE-27 countries per one person aged 65 years old or older will be accounted less than 2 persons of working age (15-64 years) according to Eurostat forecasts. Currently there is 4 working persons to 1 older person. In the years 2015-35, when the significant part of the baby boomers will go into retirement, the most dynamic changes are expected.
An old age is often associated with disease and disability according to Eurostat research from the 2010 year. Seniors suffer from a specific kind of loneliness. Cessation of contacts with people at work, collapsing routine and a lot of unscheduled time result in growing frustration. With increasing years, intelligence structure is changing, rarely decreases. According to the theory of selective optimization combined with compensation (Baltes, 1980) over the years human beings experiencing losses are capable of both minimizing losses and maximizing profits. Those who maintain their activity, can make a significant contribution to the development of society, e.g. by extending its presence in the labour market or by participating in social life. Future changes in policy may focus on encouraging older people to remain active (mentally and physically) and maintain their independence as long as possible (Eurostat 2010).
In “A Digital Agenda for Europe” also called i2020 as it is part of the Europe 2020 Strategy (COM 2010 245 final) establishes in its 6th point: “Enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion”:
“…150 million Europeans- some 30%- have never used the internet. Often they say they have no need or that it is too expensive. This group is largely made up of people aged 65 to 74 years old, people on low incomes, the unemployed and the less educated.
In many cases the take-up gap is due to lack of user skills such as digital and media literacy not only for employability but also for learning, creating, participating and being confident and discerning in the use of digital media. Accessibility and usability are also problems for Europeans with disabilities. Bridging this digital divide can help members of disadvantaged social groups to participate on a more equal footing in digital society…”
In response to the emerging needs, in order to develop and support informal learning of people over 50 years old and penetration into the formal educational paths institutions acting on behalf of senior citizens in the EU the three-way partnership was set up. These goals will be achieved through the promotion and inclusion in the fields of education as well as training and work with seniors to provide non-formal education of quality for all adults. In addition, the partnership will be focused on prevention from learning resignation and promotion of disadvantaged groups in the society.
According to mentioned above EU directives, planning and implementation by the partnership of good practice in education and work with seniors, will help this group to maintain the bio-psycho-social activity, and consequently make a significant contribution to the further development of the society in the EU country. The specific objective of the project is elaboration and dissemination among the two target groups (direct: trainers, lecturers, teachers working with seniors and indirect: adults, including seniors) “Guide for Trainers: Beautiful Mind- Open Educational Resources in non-formal senior education”. This guide will contain three methodological and practical components:
- Increasing psychophysical well-being and health preservation; will be a component with scenarios of active classes for seniors in the range of healthy eating and exercise psychophysical stress management. Specific guidelines and materials for maintaining good health of persons over 50 years old and raising awareness of the importance of psychological and physical well-being, which can be achieved through the development of innovative training materials, will be provided.
- Techniques of speed reading and memory (mnemonics) in the active learning; will be a component developed with methodical work scenarios and work cards. The component will include three video tutorials for the implementation of speed reading techniques (CD and online platform).
- Learning on the neb for adults; will be a module of the Guide and a related course, designed for trainers who will be able to easily use prepared teaching materials in their institution. The introduction of theoretical guidance for a trainer and practical exercises set that might be used with the use of traditional methods, over distance, self-education and peer teaching will be included in each part of the module.
Active aging is a crucial component of the strategy “Europe 2020″, whose success depends on the creation of conditions for older people and their contribution to society. Seniors should be able to remain active employees consumers carers volunteers and citizens.