Ресурсный потенциал старшего поколения: от уточнения терминологии к разработке рекомендаций по повышению степени его реализации в социуме
An irreversible change in the age structure of the population leads to a significant increase in the burden on all socioeconomic institutions related to the realization of human potential. The aim of the study is a reconsideration of existing approaches to the studies of the resource potential of the older generation. The article examines the degree of resource potential realization in Tomsk Oblast (Russia) and develops recommendations aimed at increasing the degree of its implementation. The study employs a focus group research method to conduct two seminars for 45 participants (old persons and professionals who work with the elderly on behalf of various organizations). The resource potential of the older generation is understood as a set of personality traits that ensure a harmonious self-realization of individuals throughout their life-course in the interests of the economy and society. In Group 1 (old persons), average assessments of the degree of realization of the resource potential of the older generation (45.5%) were predominant; in Group 2 (professional experts), low assessments prevailed (54.5%). Both groups proposed to consider the share of time spent on socially significant, cultural events, physical activity, Internet communication, and self-development as the main criteria for assessing the degree of realization of the resource potential. Group 1 suggested various aspects of interaction with the micro-environment (personal activities, interaction with relatives and friends). Group 2 emphasized interactions with formal and informal institutions (through the share of time for professional employment and the share of life situations that older people can deal with independently). As necessary measures to increase the degree of realization of the resource potential, old persons formulated the following proposals: (1) availability of information; (2) requirements for authorities (need to increase public funding for activities and maintenance of social rooms, important events and programs for older people, improvement of medical care, etc.); (3) appeals to former employers, desire to improve personal financial capabilities, and need for formal and informal leadership. Professional experts focused on personal and institutional factors, which are not directly related to the increase in programs’ funding. These initiatives reflect the need for a qualitative transformation of formal and informal institutions, for overcoming persistent negative stereotypes regarding the older generation (ageism), for increasing the responsibility of the elderly for the realization of social and economic rights and continuity of personal development throughout the entire life-course. The results of the study confirm the societal demand for adjusting programs and tools to develop and implement effective social and economic solutions aimed at increasing the degree of realization of the resource potential of the older generation.