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Older People’s Forum urges not to stereotype the elderly

PUBLISHED: 11:15 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:37 08 October 2018

Norwich Older People's Forum discusses elderly people's issued. Picture: Getty Images

Norwich Older People's Forum discusses elderly people's issued. Picture: Getty Images

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A public group is urging people not to stereotype the older generation when it comes to social media.

St Andrews Hall, and Blackfriars Hall, known together as The Halls. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSt Andrews Hall, and Blackfriars Hall, known together as The Halls. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Older People’s Forum met this week with more than 100 people attending at Blackfriars Hall.

At the meeting, organisers put the spotlight on common ground, by asking young volunteers from The Garage to run a series of short workshops on attitudes towards both generations.

Chairman Verity Gibson said: “We are very aware that young people often suffer as a result of stereotypes and so do people in our generation.

“That means we have more in common than is often realised. Young people feel under pressure to ’be their best’, to pass exams and get on, while older people may feel pressure to stay active and keep involved.”

Elderly people did a workshop with youngsters from the garage. Picture: GettyElderly people did a workshop with youngsters from the garage. Picture: Getty

An issue that was raised was the idea of social media and the assumptions that people make about the older generation online.

Ms Gibson added: “It is often assumed that older people ’don’t get it’, but we heard from one 70-year-old who uses it as a positive way to engage politically with issues that interest her and how it helps keep housebound people, including one 97-year-old, connected to friends.

“There was a suggestion that older people may sometimes, due to their life experience, be better able to use social media in a discriminating way - as part of their life, without getting ‘addicted’ to it.”

The forum, which holds open neighbourhood meetings in different locations round the city, has looked at a number of issues over the past year ranging from social care to advice projects, mobility and health.

The group has recently been discussing the effect of road and transport changes in the city for the elderly. Particularly on those with visual and hearing impairments or mobility issues.

Ms Gibson added: “There are no easy solutions when there are winners and losers to any changes, but hopefully they will listen more carefully to concerns in future but difficulties remain.”

Regular neighbourhood meetings are open to any older person, to give them a chance to meet others and air issues.

For more information search NOPF on www.norwich.gov.uk

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