Silver Bonds: Empowering Elders, Enriching Lives

Tackling social exclusion and loneliness among older people with disabilities in Lithuania by improving digital and creative skills and increasing social connections.

The Local Challenge

In Marijampolė, Lithuania, an ageing population is experiencing significant social isolation and exclusion. The public library staff identified key challenges faced by older adults and people with disabilities, including a lack of technological knowledge, loneliness and poverty. These issues are preventing elderly people with disabilities in particular from enjoying cultural and creative activities, leading to increased dissatisfaction with their lives and resentment towards younger generations 


 The Initiative 

A collaboration between the public library and clubs for the elderly and disabled people, Silver Bonds focuses on two main areas: technological literacy and artistic/creative activities. The initiative includes training on smartphone use, online banking, e-health systems and other digital tools to help tackle social exclusion. Artistic activitiesincluding ceramics, floristry and upcycling – help to create social connections and improve psychological well-being. The initiative also includes theatre and museum visits, involving younger volunteers to encourage intergenerational connections and mutual respect. 


 What’s Next?

Through the initiative, the public library hopes to become a haven for older people, offering not only facilities but also quality activities that help to encourage social inclusion. Publicising the project and spreading good practices also helps more older people to discover the librarys benefits. The goal is to create a supportive, inclusive environment for older adults and for those with disabilities, helping them to feel more integrated in society. 


This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

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