It is established that active longevity is connected with the intense intellectual activity at any age. Nowadays a man uses only a part of his/her intellectual capacities and it leads to reducing the storage capacity of mental memory. Globalization processes, medical and public health achievements have a positive effect on human longevity. Due to this, there is a problem of transforming “survival probability” into the active part of the human life activity known as “The Fifth Age”. As the subject of research is complex and multidimensional, it requires multifaceted study. In the study different methods such as analysis of information resources reflecting recent data about seniors’ well-being, analysis of websites providing medical and social support to seniors, study of scientific papers about seniors’ well-being are used. As a result a hypothesis about the conflict between the study of seniors’ wellbeing problem and the lack of study of effective methods creating positive path of active aging based on senior’s personal memories is formed. Summing up the results it can be concluded that seniors’ well-being greatly depends on their participation in cultural memorial practices.
Keywords: Seniors’ well-beingmemorysubjective well-being
The Russian population aged 65 and over is constantly growing and this allows us to relate Russia to the countries with aging population. The pace of population aging in Russia is faster than it is in developed countries. From 1959 to 2002 the total population of Russia increased by 25% and the proportion of seniors rose 2.5 times. In the 2000s the proportion of seniors was low as the cohort born during the Great Patriotic War was small. By 2010 the age of post-war generation was 65 and this had increased the share of seniors. The share is expected to reach 20% by 2040 (Gavrilova, & Gavrilov, 2009). In the period between two censuses (2002 and 2010) the share of young population aged under 20 decreased by 4.1 % while the share of elderly population aged over 60 increased by 2.1%. This phenomenon is known as baby boom (Kornienko F., Syryamkina E.V. 2014) or grey revolution (Barysheva, 2014). This is very typical for all post-communist countries. From 2000 to 2050 the share of seniors aged 60 or more is projected to increase from 10% to 22% while in Western Europe it will increase from 20% to 35% (Lutz et al,. 2008).
In Russia working pensioners are people who are used to work in a team and convinced of the need to do good. The great Russian philosopher, Alexander Zinoviev, exiled to Munich after being convicted of anti-Soviet activities wrote that he did not worry about the loss of relatives, friends but the loss of team-mates gave him no peace (Zinoviev, 1999). Seniors or citizens of the Fifth Age as they are often called in Europe are job-centered as jobs give them self-esteem and provide communication. The increasing number of young seniors is the subject of thorough study.
Leading research paradigm in well-being process analysis is the theory of generations. This theory distinguishes six periods of time reflecting values, mental characteristics of different age groups.
Baby boom generation and thaw generation focus on dynamic creation and positive perception of reality. To maintain physical and mental stability this strata goes in for sports, likes to find new tourist routes. At the same time, and this cannot be ignored, this aging generation keeps activity habits and the willingness to pay for their leisure time. Young seniors are the most active social citizens and they are also consumers of new products. Stratification of generations can easily identify consumer trends for specific ages but it also requires a serious study. Between 80s of the 20th century and mid-2015 more than 80000 studies devoted to various aspects of seniors’ well-being were published. There was a change in the study of “Active Aging” paradigm: from the study of age-related decline to the study of positive effects of aging and mental health program development.
These studies are carried out in socially oriented societies with a high level of economic development and consequently with a high sociocultural level.
The data in Tab.
Social well-being of seniors as a part of study
Nowadays the social well-being of seniors is examined in the following aspects:
1)The system of social security and health insurance;
2)The system of social services and public housing;
3)Measures of countercyclical policy and state regulation of economic growth;
4)Environmental protection measures.
The concept of well-being is examined in current studies and includes fundamental human needs such as physical safety, health, age-appropriate diet, and personal potential, development of social relations that bring satisfaction and the solution of psychosocial and domestic problems. Science-based model of human well-being, particularly seniors, includes the following components: physical, social, emotional and cognitive well-being (Pollad, & Davidson, 2001, Barysheva, 2014).
Over the last 10 years, this has become one of the most popular fields of study in Russia. It can be seen from Tab.
The fields of study show a steady trend from a problem description, its analysis to developing technologies for improving seniors’ well-being. The study carried out with the support of Russian Humanitarian Foundation 11-13-27005а/Т and based on the material collected in Khabarovsk Territory has the results of theoretical and empirical sociological study of seniors’ social well-being and their social status in the region (Baikov, 2012). The results of comprehensive study of elderly generation show the value of work and leisure for forming positive social well-being of seniors. By the order of administration authorities, the study of seniors’ well-being was carried out in Balakovksky district of Saratov region (Kulikov, 2012). An important contribution to the study of seniors’ well-being was done by Yu.A. Zelikova (Zelikova, 2014). She determined the level of subjective well-being of seniors aged 60 or more due to the data presented in the project WorldValueSurvey (the data was collected between 2005 and 2008). Yu.A. Zelikova considers that satisfaction with financial status, positive evaluation of personal health status, decision-making discretion and ability to have friendly relations with people influence greatly on subjective well-being of seniors.
The most complete studying of seniors’ well-being problems has been carried out within the framework of scientific activity of the International Scientific-Educational Laboratory for the Improvement of Wellbeing Technologies of Older Adults. The key task of this laboratory (International Scientific Educational Laboratory for the Improvement of Wellbeing Technologies of Older Adults) as a scientific laboratory of Tomsk Polytechnic University is the research aimed to study “evaluation and improvement of social, economic and emotional well-being of older people” (Barysheva, 2014).
This research is new for Russian scientists, as they should describe the processes aimed at forming seniors’ positive and conscious attitude to their final period of lives. We believe that the key strategy for forming seniors’ positive attitude is the restoration, revival and presentation of individual, subjective and unique memories. The work of public organization “Memorial” and on-line resource “Gefter” is successfully done in this direction. They are aimed at developing methodological strategies of “active experiencing of past memories” that are focused on the implementation of the policy of socio-cultural unity
The results show that the problem of active aging can be solved while studying the phenomenon of «Grey Revolution” combined with seniors support on mental and biological level and with implementation of innovative approaches to active aging developed by Russian researchers. The memory of by-gone days and outgoing generations is invaluable. Moreover, history like a careful weaver restores the fabric of individual’s unique life story and the closer these people with their simple everyday worries and joys are, the brighter all era diversity appears in our memory.
- Baikov, N.M. (2012). Social well-being and status of seniors.
- Barysheva, G.A., Aksenova, Yu.V., Sytykh, M.S. (2014). Comparative study of seniors’ well-being based on figures collected in Tomsk and Bremen with the help of econometric regression model. Bulletin of Tomsk State Pedagogical University, 5 (146).
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- Lutz, W., Sanderson, W., & Scherbov, S. (2008). The coming acceleration of global population ageing. Nature, 451(7179), 716-719.
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17 January 2017
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Social welfare, social services, personal health, public health
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Tatiana, ., Yuliya, C., & Anna, T. (2017). Mentoring as an Essential Element of Social Entrepreneurship. In F. Casati, G. А. Barysheva, & W. Krieger (Eds.), Lifelong Wellbeing in the World - WELLSO 2016, vol 19. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 37-42). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.01.5