Project to engage the elderly in social life
Individuals over the age of 65 who have withdrawn from social life and stay at home during the pandemic period will hold on to life again with the European Union (EU) project prepared by academics from Izmir University of Economics.
The elderly will engage in social life again with the physical activity, digital learning, healthy nutrition and language education that will be provided with the project prepared by Izmir University of Economics (IUE) Continuing Education Center (EKOSEM). Elderly people will improve their quality of life with the EU project titled “Wise Life: Awareness About Anti-Aging”, under the coordination of Prof. Nesrin Oruç Ertürk, Director of EKOSEM. Prof. Ertürk said that they thought about what they can do to include elderly people in social life and that they have created an EU project supported with a total of 194 thousand euros (1 million 750 thousand liras), in which Greece, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Poland are also participating.
TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEER PARTICIPANTS
Prof. Ertürk stated that the working group will include Burçin Önder, Director of IUE Vocational School, Asst. Prof. Burak Amirak, IUE Faculty of Communication, PhDC Sevay İpek Aydın, Director of IUE Creative Economy Research and Application Center, and Researcher Dr. Ayşe Karaçizmeli. Prof. Ertürk said, “A negative attitude developed against individuals over the age of 65 especially with the pandemic period. We had to exclude them out of social life. We thought about what we can do to engage them into social life again. With the project we have developed, we will provide training to volunteer participants. We will work in Narlıdere Nursing Home in this project. Participants’ enjoyment of life will be tested before and after the training. Our project will end in August 2023.” Stating that the universities of the partner countries in the project have continuing education centers, Prof. Ertürk said that these centers will also develop a common strategy for training for the elderly.
THEY WILL DISCOVER NEW AREAS
Stating that the documentary and digital memory of the project will also be created, Prof. Ertürk said that initially 100 people selected in each country will be trained.
Emphasizing that they want to ensure that elderly people hold on to a purpose and that they will organize physical health, nutrition in older age, digital learning and second foreign language courses, Prof. Ertürk said, “Older individuals will no longer feel lonely. Adults over 65 who participate in regular physical activity have significant health benefits. Yoga, regular sports, dancing and walking help elders keep their mind clear. Doing these exercises and staying active can also make them feel better and improve their strength and balance. It can reduce the risk of falls and increase longevity in the elderly. We will offer a physical health course for 5 hours a week. Adequate and healthy nutrition also provides a balanced life. The main purpose of nutrition in older age course is to promote health and well-being, and to delay adverse health conditions due to food insecurity.”
TECHNOLOGY WILL NO LONGER SCARE THE ELDERLY
Noting that elderly people stay away from technological products and have difficulty in using devices such as smartphones, Prof. Ertürk said the following:
“Internet has become an indispensable part of modern life. With this training, we aim to motivate, and help elders to become competent, safe and self-confident internet users. Regular phone calls or video chats of elder people with family and friends improve their moods. Using technology improves human functioning and gives elderly individuals a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. Older adults get computers and internet from their relatives, but relatives never have enough patience and time to teach the elderly to use these technologies. We want to make them reconcile with technology. Our last course will be about teaching a second language. Learning a second language reduces the risk of developing dementia. Thanks to the language course, the elderly will communicate in a completely different language system and their self-confidence will increase.”