Ambition for Ageing has released a report titled Resilience in an Ageing Greater Manchester, looking at the needs of older people in resilience planning.
The report suggests that although older adults can be particularly vulnerable during times of shock, they also possess assets that can contribute to preparedness for shocks.
Within the report, it explores the importance of recognising the impact different marginalising characteristics (such as ethnicity and class) can have on a person’s resilience when putting in plans around resilience and make recommendations on how policy makers can support the needs of older people across Greater Manchester.
Amongst the key findings from the report are:
- Social inclusion plays a key part in keeping people resilient, something that is a risk for older people. This risk is further compounded the more marginalising characterises an individual has.
- Older people with additional marginalising characteristics often have high levels of bonding social capital but struggle to make connections outside of their own community which are beneficial during times of shock.
- To avoid further marginalising people, it is vital to take an intersectional approach to resilience planning, including a range of marginalised groups.
- Although referred to as different things within different cultures, the personal and cultural belief in the importance of ‘grit’ or ‘hard graft’ is shared across the working classes across ethnicities. This attitude can help boost an individual’s resilience.
- Resilience may be strengthened in cultures that value and encourage lifelong learning as this promotes adaptability.
- It cannot be assumed that exposure to shocks and stresses, such a discrimination in the form of racism or experiencing economic deprivation builds up resilience.
Kathy Oldham, Chief Resilience Officer for Greater Manchester said:
Resilience is about the whole of society. We know that it takes everyone in the community to solve problems. As a result, we can only be resilient in the face of shocks and stresses if we listen to and involve older people
John Hannen, Programme Manager for the Ambition for Ageing Programme said:
This research clearly shows that older people can make a significant contribution to the ability of communities to withstand shocks and stresses. However inequality and discrimination over a lifetime can result in the opportunities of an ageing population from being missed.
Early next year, Ambition for Ageing will be hosting a seminar looking at the report in further detail and asking what happens next. Click here to find out more and download the report.