The Mensa Foundation draws attention to highly intelligent elderly people in later stages of their life. We do not set a precise upper or lower 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 equally important are gifted elderly people who have ended up in isolation or who donit get adequate care or attention in nursing or care homes. Even in old age, there is a demand for stimulation intellectual challenges and stimulation. By organizing the Gray Gold program, the Mensa Foundation hopes to make a positive contribution to this need.
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. There is hence a large target audiance for suitable activities beyond just the gifted elderly. Fortunately, there is already a wide range of cultural activities and high-level courses and excursions in the Netherlands that can be used. We are also considering collaboration with the initiative of the foundation ‘Old learned, young done’.
Wednesday, December 4th , board member Thérésa Oost was a guest on the radioprogram “Omroep Gelderland”. In the program “Op de Koffie” presented by Rob Kleijs, she talked about the initiative “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 public 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 studies 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 initiative is alive!
At Home – a “Home”
In “Wageningen at Home” I spoke with quartermaster Elsje van de Weg, who, in addition to a specific visitor to Home, also recognizes thev attributes of highly giftedness with a family member. I was not surprised to learn 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 future.
In HIQMensa Magazine #17
In edition 17 of the HIQMensaMagazine, the Mensa Foundation has published an article on the topic 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 initiative. See here (as PDF) our article on pages 28 and 29 in the HIQMensamagazine (in Dutch).
We hope to meet more and more people who will join in on this initiative. Are you or do you know someone who recognizes themselves in the description of Gray Gold or do you know an initiative that we should know about? Pass it on via my email address: Theresa.Oost@mensafonds.nl. Thank you!