On May 28, the Northern capital will host the Elders in the City festival, the largest open-air festival organized by charitable organizations and active St. Petersburg residents aged 50 and over. On the eve of the large-scale event, its organizers and experts discussed the key challenges facing the older generation of citizens.
“Every 100th Petersburger participates in our Seniors program,” said Daria Buyanova, Head of the Seniors Program of the Kind City of Petersburg Charitable Foundation. – The Foundation supports 15 organizations that cover 95% of all requests that arise from St. Petersburg residents over 50 years old – they are related to medicine, social support, repairs, education. This is an ecosystem of care, the festival will become an information platform where people will learn how and where they can get support.”
The event also discussed the labor market for the older generation. Maria Buzunova, head of the press service of hh.ru North-West, noted that the older generation is actively looking for work – such specialties as an accountant, driver, sales manager, engineer, and teacher are in demand. 8% of applicants aged 50-65 are ready to study and master a new profession – the region demonstrates one of the highest rates in Russia in this regard.
“Given the shortage of staff, we see a response from employers – they began to invite older applicants more often. The number of invitations for applicants over 50 years of age has increased by 58% in recent months, from 31,000 to 50,000,” Buzunova said.
Marina Mishchenko, head of the social program “I can”, told what new knowledge and skills older people can get by taking part in it.
“We do not just teach a new profession, we show older people the opportunities that exist for them today in the labor market, we help overcome negative attitudes and stereotypes, “pack up” all our accumulated professional experience, “try on” different forms of employment in order to they could consciously build a further career trajectory and make their own choice: find or change a job, monetize a hobby, get a new position or an increase in salary in their current place,” Mishchenko said.
At the press conference, they discussed another challenge that older people often face – dating and relationships. Natalya Glikman, psychologist, trainer, author of psychology programs and host of the Dating 50+ course, noted that people are often embarrassed to build new relationships.
“The first fear is that I am already old for this, this is for the young, it’s too late for me. The person seems to be focused on the end of life, and not on its continuation, – said the psychologist. – The second fear – will I be able to master modern gadgets in order to use dating sites? Third: do I have the right to some joys, to pleasures, won’t I look somehow different?
The third challenge is stereotypes that prevent people of retirement age from engaging in self-development and filling their lives with new meanings. However, some stereotypes are already a thing of the past, notes Alexandra Koltsova, an older administrator of the Elders Center and an older employee of the Good City Petersburg Foundation.
“For an interesting, worthy life at an older age, you need to: accept yourself and your age. Finally allow yourself to do what you want and like. Whether it’s work, a summer residence, a hobby or a relationship, ”Koltsova emphasized.
The speakers concluded that a person at any age should have the right to be active, bright, free, build relationships and change careers, have favorite hobbies and feel comfortable in the city – all these tasks the Foundation is trying to solve with the help of its “Senior” program.
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.