[Letters] Let’s build academies for seniorsThe seniors who were born in the 1950s have lived very aggressively. This age group, in their 50s and 60s, forms the backbone of Korea, and this generation is distinctively different from older generations. First of all, they are very young and healthy physically and mentally for their biological age. According to a survey, they feel that they are about 7.7 years younger than their actual age and consider that people over 70 are elderly. Moreover, they are intellectually demanding and democratically conscious, with a considerable portion of the age group having received higher education.
And this generation is also facing the tsunami of retirement. From year 2010 to 2019, as many as 7 million, or one in five adults in Korea, will leave their jobs. The problem is that the social infrastructure for this generation is not properly prepared, so they may be left in the dead angle of welfare.
What can the society do for the lonely and aging retirees? Nonprofit multicultural “senior academies” should be established to offer advanced and useful classes. These academies should be a place for the retirees to mingle with one another and get help to make the rest of their lives more rewarding.
The academies need to offer various humanities lectures to meet seniors’ intellectual demands. The members should be able to enjoy the service at nominal cost. The academies do not require tremendous investment, either.
Hopefully, public agencies and corporations interested in social contribution may respond to the calling of the time and establish senior academies. In Sweden, there are 150 educational academies for retirees, offering classes for free or at cost. I dream of a pleasant future where seniors gather around in academies and have a good time.
Lee Hak-gyu, director of management and planning at MBC Academy