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Structural discrimination against elderly increased during COVID-19, says FRA study

Generational Research Rüdiger Maas in an interview with EURACTIVE.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit older people hard, with age-related stereotypes reinforced and freedom of movement restricted, according to a study published by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) at the end of June. However, the pandemic may have brought generations closer together again in the short term.

Generational understanding instead of generation conflict

“We cannot confirm the hypothesis of a worsening generational conflict, we would rather say that the generations have come closer together”, the founder of the Institute for Intergenerational Research, Rüdiger Maas, told EURACTIV Germany in an interview.

During the pandemic, the Institute had conducted weekly surveys on the state of health of different age groups.

For example, the younger generation was worried about the health of their grandparents, while the grandparents, in turn, felt sorry for the younger ones due to the cancelled graduating ceremonies. However, the crisis also ensured older people became more involved with the digital world, Maas emphasised.

“As a result, their understanding of younger people has also grown somewhat,” he added.

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