Report Open Access

Essential needs of educators to support seniors

Nicoleta ACOMI; ‪Luis OCHOA SIGUENCIA; Manuel CARABIAS; Any Mary Elisabeta DRAGAN; Fabiola PORCELLI; Renata OCHOA-DADERSKA; Daniel DRAGAN; Savino RICCHIUTO; Damiana SUDANO; Bogdan CHIRIS; Laura AMORUSO; Agata CHMIELARZ; Jonas MARTIN VEGA; Ovidiu ACOMI

Project member(s)
Stefania TUDORACHE

Active aging means helping people stay in charge of their own lives for as long as possible. Because keeping minds active is equally as important as keeping bodies physically active, there is an urgent need of an educational, cultural and social context. From this perspective, the report addresses the educational needs of educators and staff working with elderly.

The study is part of the Erasmus+ project “SENIOR - Supporting Elderly Needs Is Our Responsibility”, implemented by a consortium of five partners from Italy, Romania, Spain and Poland, aiming at increasing the level of commitment of seniors to participate in activities of education and exchanges of experiences.

Educators and adult education institutions play an important role in the development of an enabling environment for an active aging society. In this context, the report addresses several aspects of education, from the needs of educators that work with seniors to the methods of keeping the seniors engaged in activities. The report is structured in three main sections:

  • Research methodology
  • National needs analyses in Spain, Poland, Italy and Romania
  • European synthesis report on needs analysis

The research methodology section summarizes the research methods applied to identify the needs of educators, the categories of respondents, the approach to interviews and limitations of the study.

The national reports set forth a range of country-specific aspects, with references to political frameworks, educational opportunities and potential barriers to active aging. Drawing from desk research and individual interviews, the report summarizes the challenges around active aging and education with and for seniors, along with areas of improvement suggested by interview respondents. Each interview was guided to foster an understanding of what working with seniors implies and what the educators teaching seniors need to consider. Questions lead to recommendations concerning the cooperation between different actors for an active aging society.

The European synthesis chapter generates the basis for creating an innovative educational context for educators of seniors. It offers to organizations working with seniors the possibility to improve their processes with methods developed at European level. An array of educational instruments and initiatives are presented to underline the potential of transferring models and good practices across local communities.

Currently, there are efforts at national and EU level to improve active ageing. The analysis reveals that harmonization of the educational programs for educators and staff working with seniors at European level can foster an active aging society. In addition, developing moderns and effective cooperation models that enable networking is expected to improve continuous professional development of staff by sharing and exchanging pedagogical models validated across Europe.

Based on the data collected, the research team concluded upon an innovative course framework to improve the skills of the educators and staff working with seniors.

Grant Agreement 2020-1-RO01-KA204-080320, Supporting Elderly Needs Is Our Responsibility (SENIOR)
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