Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Britain is a country where old men look with envy at German old men

I'm continuing my research while staying in Germany and have come across a website :

'Facts about Germany' : 

Active and independent elderly people

Apparently in Germany :
*  approximately every fourth person is over 60 years old and because of the long-standing low birth rates and parallel increasing life expectancy, German society has the third-largest proportion of elderly people worldwide after Japan and Italy.
* their ways of life and lifestyles have likewise changed and diversified a lot over the last decades:

- the vast majority of them lead independent lives,
- they are socially active,
- in contact with their children and relatives,
- for the most part, in terms of health, in a position to determine their own lives and actively decide how to make use of their time.
Financially speaking öld people are taken care of by the '1957 Pension Reform' , which gradually gave pensioners a full share in the nation’s wealth. Poverty in old age has not been done away with entirely, but the risk of being poor in old age is lower than that of other age groups.

It is increasingly seldom for three generations of one family to live under the same roof, but there are frequently strong emotional bonds between grown-up children and their parents and between grandparents and grandchildren. 

A Federal Government specimen project seeks to strengthen and secure cross-generational ties and almost every district and municipality in Germany now boasts a so-called multi-generational house.

The 500 subsidized buildings, to which 15,000 people are committed nationwide, form a point of contact, network and hub for family advice, health support, crisis intervention and care planning.

Außenansicht okal / s-klasse
In addition, more Germans are having multi-generation homes built :
Grandparents,parents,children all of them under one roof. This traditional model for living is becoming less common in Germany,and so-called multi-generational homes have been decreasing in number for years now. But in these economically uncertain times,many makers of prefabricated houses say more and more of their customers are asking for multi-generational homes for extended families.

Apparently, thge prefab manufacturer 'Okal' is one of the companies profiting from the trend of having grandparents,parents and children all under one roof.

Multi-generational houses account for some 30 percent of the firm's sales. 

Just a few years ago Okal had actually wanted to remove the model from its range because there was so little demand but the company's chief architect, Sven Propfen, said  that demand is now rising again because :

- of  the discontinuation of subsidies for people building their own owner-occupied homes 
- lower social benefits the unemployed are now receiving
- as  the social safety net becomes less reliable, family members' feelings of responsibility for one another are growing 
- when grandparents,parents,and children live together under one roof,building and living costs are reduced  and child care becomes easier.

So old men of Britain take note : your counterparts in Germany are looked after by family and state !

1 comment:

  1. Dear JB - may I suggest that we start thinking about a move now. Can you sort out a route where the girls can go for a walk and push us round at the same time! DB