More living - Active age, Elderly care and heritage, South Africa and Sweden

Big Cultural Event for Elderly at Krusenstiernska Garden,

Kalmar, Time Travel to 1951

More than 400 elderly and staff from elderly centers invaded the flowering garden of the Krusen­stiernska Manor, in the heart of Kalmar a warm and sunny day in May 2013. For a couple of hours they travelled back to 1951 when the garden was opened to the public. Many were dressed in costumes and hats from the time. There were musical entertainment and children sang songs from the 50’s. There was a chocolate wheel, lotteries, different games and of course coffee and lots of cakes. This is probably the biggest cultural celebration with elderly from elderly homes and centers in Kalmar and Öland and a very important social gathering. You could see many recognizing smiles from the elderly who remembered an important time of their lives.

The event at Krusenstiernska was the highlight of a visit in Kalmar from Cape Winelands, South Africa in the common project on elderly and heritage.  Kalmar County Museum hosted the guests Gail Jacobs, Anrie Uys and Basil de Wee, all working in elderly centers in the Winelands. The goal of the project is to find social and cultural activities for senior citizens in both countries in order to enrich and improve wellness for the elderly.

During the week in the Kalmar region there was also a Time Travel at Södra Bruket, an industry on southern Öland.  Sixty elders from nearby service centers took part in the Time Travel to 1948, when a new family from Austria arrived. How will we greet the foreigners? Will they feel at home?

Another experience was a visit to the service center Frikadellen in Lindsdal. Some of the elderly at the service center have been interviewed by students from the primary school next door. The students have made power point presentations of the life stories of the elderly. One of the results of that project is that the students and the elderly now greet and talk when they meet on the street or in the local shopping center.

Tina Lindström Kalmar County Museum, Sweden