There is no dispute that the world population is Ageing, and as a result through this demographic change the structure of society and therefore the structure of the families are changing rapidly reflecting in many ways the problems and concerns of the society. 2012 was the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity, whereas 2013 was the European Year of Citizenship. In the last years one of the main aims of the E.U. was to raise the importance for ‘being an active citizen’ regardless of age or role in society. This provided societies with the opportunities to develop strategies for ensuring that the ageing can first be positive and dynami,c but at the same time it is used in such a way as to promote solidarity between the different groups of people, the different sectors, and the different generations, younger and older.
The challenge for us all is to develop a range of ideas for bringing young Europeans and elderly together in an effort to bridge the gap between them, promote mutual respect and while spending quality time together assisting each other. This process will enhance their skills for becoming active citizens and active members of the society they live in.
In this changing world, one aspect of the family that remains undisputable are the older members, the Grandparents. Grandparents are ageing and in doing so our aim is to optimise their opportunities for health, for lifelong learning, for participation and for security which will enhance the quality of their lives and ensure their active citizenship. It is our belief that the more integrated and socially included the older people are then society gains, we gain. When it comes to family life, the more grandparents are actively involved and participate in family life the family bonds are stronger and it will clearly be shown on the younger generation (grandchildren) who are more exposed to dangers and social problems.
Our research has shown that one of the main things that the two generations have in common is Free Time. Free time can be used in a creative way through intergenerational learning aiming to fight isolation and loneliness experienced by elderly people and engaging young students in activating their citizenship qualities, i.e. voluntary social work where their knowledge and skills can be used. ICT based teaching and learning for adults especially in the areas of upgrading their skills in the use of Social Media Tools such as internet, e-mail, facebook, skype can achieve all the above.