Gray Gold Digger

Theresa Oost
Thérésa Oost, board member Gray Gold

Gray Gold Digger
The Mensa Foundation draws attention to highly intelligent elderly people in their later stages of life. We do not apply a precise age limit, because these are people with a rich life experience who would like to continue to participate in society, if they are offered appropriate opportunities to do so. But it also concerns gifted elderly people who have ended up in isolation or who, in terms of interests, do not get their money’s worth in nursing or care homes. In a nursing home there is also a demand for intellectual challenges. By proclaiming Gray Gold as a spearhead, the Mensa Foundation hopes to make a positive contribution to a current social theme.

Large target group
It has already been shown that the needs of gifted older people largely overlap with those of highly educated older people in general. Organizers of suitable activities can therefore respond to a target group that is larger than just the group of gifted elderly people. Fortunately, there is already a wide range of culture and high-level courses and excursions in the Netherlands that can be used. We are also considering, for example, of the initiative of the foundation ‘Old learned, young done’.

Gray Gold
Gray Gold at broadcaster “Omroep Gelderland” on Wednesday, December 4th , board member Thérésa Oost was a guest at “Omroep Gelderland”. In the program “Op de Koffie” presented by Rob Kleijs, she talked about the spearhead “Gray Gold”. The broadcast can be listened back via the website of the broadcaster, here, Thérésa speaks between 10:00 and 11:00 am, approximately minute 15:30 – 22:50, 32:49 – 33:00 and minute 43 :00-53:00.

Exploration and research
Thérésa Oost: Finding out to what extent older people also do this, and especially what role they (want to) play in it, is something that interests me. That’s why I’m going external this year with this theme, as a Gray Gold Digger. At the beginning of this year, for example, I got in touch with Karina de Winter, manager of welfare at the Bartholomeus Gasthuis in Utrecht. The Bartholomeus actively looks at what is appropriate for its residents: “For example, we have interesting meetings between gymnasium students and our independent residents. We have now had two meetings between 14 students and 7 elderly people. We try to achieve 3 or 4 between the same group of young people and the same group of elderly people.” There are also interesting lectures in Bartholomew once a month, to name just a few examples. De Winter also wants to make use of the knowledge gained from Gray Gold. Nice to see that the theme is alive!

At home – a “Home”
And in “Wageningen at Home” I spoke with quartermaster Elsje van de Weg, who, in addition to a specific visitor to Home, also recognizes a family member in the definition of giftedness. I was not surprised that an older visitor to “Home” fits the profile. Elsje: “At “Home” there are no superheroes, but ordinary people like you and me who do their best for a better world. The more ordinary people – young, old, tall, short, round, square – do this, the more we can achieve. “Home” is committed to all these people. We all do that at our meeting and workplace in Wageningen city. Here you can meet residents, work (together), participate in activities and hatch ideas. I am very curious about the sequel.

In HIQMensa Magazine #17
In edition 17 of the HIQMensaMagazine, the Mensa Foundation has published an article on the theme of Gray Gold of the Mensa Foundation. In the same article, the Mensa Foundation appeals to people who want to contribute ideas or want to help with the exploration of the Gray Gold theme. See here (as PDF) our article on pages 28 and 29 in the HIQMensamagazine (in Dutch).

Knowing more
I hope, while exploring, to meet more and more people who will join in on this theme. Are you or do you know someone who recognizes themselves in the description of Gray Gold or do you know an initiative that I should know about? Pass it on via my email address: Thank you!