Inclusion through social value

Utilité socialeTo feel fully part of society or a particular community, individuals need to feel useful, irrespective of their physical condition or age.

According to the results of the 2016 Korian European Baromater, 88% of seniors feel that they are fully part of the society. The ‘Ageing Well: the Right Words’ study also showed that feeling valuable, both for themselves and for society, is essential for seniors. Responding to this need to feel useful is a major issue for improving quality of life, maintaining seniors’ interest in making plans for the future, and simply keeping them involved in everyday social life.

But what does feeling useful really mean, especially when the person has reduced autonomy or is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease? What type of usefulness are we talking about – to society or our to our families? To the economy? Does each generation have a different view of this? How do we make others feel valued and what words should we use?

To answer these questions, the Korian Foundation would like to conduct a sociological analysis of seniors’ role in society through the notion of usefulness. The aim will be to understand the driving forces behind usefulness and the ways in which it is expressed, as seen both by seniors and through the expectations of younger generations.