Opinionway Survey: Strengthening Intergenerational Bonds Largely Commended

07/04/2022

Opinionway has carried out a survey which is the first ‘intergenerational bond indicator’ and which shows the positive impact of the relationships between young and old people on social cohesion and on seniors’ physical and mental health.

The poll was launched exactly one year after the Senior Solidarity Civic Service [1] was implemented in March 2021. It was conducted in February 2022 among young people (aged 16 – 25 ) and seniors (over age 65), and it confirms that “this new solidarity service is an adequate answer to the plague of loneliness experienced by both the young and the old.  It is largely commended by 96% of young people and 99% of seniors as one of the foremost solutions to be fostered. »

Both generations suffered immensely when social contacts were hindered during the COVID-19 lockdowns. “The feeling of loneliness or social isolation was strongly felt by 41% of all seniors surveyed. The key point revealed by the study is that 65% of young people share this feeling. »

According to the Little Brothers of the Poor in their publication “Solitude et Isolement (Loneliness and Isolation), 2 million seniors declared they felt isolated from friends and loved ones in 2021. The Little Brothers warn of the consequences of this “social death” and increasing isolation will have on seniors’ health.

Both the young (61%) and the elderly (71%) deplore the decline in intergenerational relationships.

Furthermore, when asked about the benefits of connecting generations, each generation mentioned different benefits. The young people valued the transmission of knowledge, a feeling of well-being and the ability to show empathy whereas the seniors first mentioned open-mindedness, followed by the curiosity and energy that comes from meeting with young people.

Both groups deemed that intergenerational exchanges help stimulate seniors’ mental and physical health and also diminish solitude and loneliness. Finally, all the respondents extolled the contributions to life in society. Generally speaking, this leads to a broad-based positive impact on social cohesion. Each groups’ viewpoints have evolved with better knowledge and understanding of each other, which also helps fight against prejudices towards seniors and the negative outlook on aging.

These results are consistent with Alliance VITA’s conclusions and this is the reason why we are calling for developing intergenerational solidarity as a top priority for the upcoming French presidential five-year term.

Visit our web site for testimonies on this topic in the 2022 elections section, and for the opinions of the candidates for the presidential election.

[1] In March 2021 this movement began with the Ministry’s Delegate for Autonomy and the State Secretariat for Youth, thanks to the Malakoff Humanis group’s work in managing the Agirc-Arrco supplementary retirement pension, and is part of the civic service framework set up in 2010. Its purpose is to implement intergenerational solidarity to help fight against the isolation of the elderly living either at home or in institutions. It aims to promote healthy ageing by fostering social relationships, by providing access to digital technology, by supporting mobility, and through preventive policies, etc. It also encourages young people to consider working on a professional basis with the elderly and promotes sustainable development of intergenerational solidarity with isolated or vulnerable seniors.

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