In previous projects between the Cape Winelands District Municipality, South Africa and the Regional Council in Kalmar County has the importance of the local heritage for social cohesion and community development played an important role. The focus has been on young people and the local population. An obvious result of this has been the formation of Bridging Ages South Africa to develop these educational methods throughout South Africa. In this project we focus on the elderly in elderly homes and service centers, but also on cooperation between old and young.
The number of elderly people is increasing in Sweden and in South Africa. It is an intense debate in both countries on elderly care, its content and quality. Reports show that one of the major problems in elderly care is passivity and boredom. Research studies have also identified a clear link between cultural / social stimulation and increased well-being and quality of life among the elderly.
The goal of this project is to find methods to enhance quality of life and active participation in local democratic contexts among the elderly in elderly homes/service centers by using the heritage and the experiences/memories of the elderly.
Management and staff in both South Africa (Cape Winelands, Langenberg and Witzenberg municipalities) and Sweden (Kalmar and Mörbylånga municipalities) to participate in trainings and seminars to get tools to improve and develop policies and practices. In South Africa the cooperation between the municipalities, elderly homes/service center and Bridging Ages South Africa will increase. At least three different concepts will be developed using the heritage and the experience of the elderly in the everyday work in elderly homes/service centers, programs to be implemented in the participating municipalities. At least one of the concepts will be an intergenerational collaboration between old and young people.
The experience will be disseminated at a conference in both the Cape Winelands and in Kalmar County and in an inspirational booklet/report. The outcomes of the project is an increased knowledge and regular programs for the elderly both in South Africa and Sweden, in the municipal organization and elderly homes in cooperation with heritage organizations and Bridging Ages South Africa, using the cultural heritage as a way to enhance the elderly to participate in the democratic processes in the local communities and to an improved quality of life.