Majority of young people more inspired by grandparents than celebrities, poll finds

Emma Elsworthy

Grandparents are more inspirational than celebrities according to two thirds of 18 to 39 year-olds surveyed for a recent poll, which also revealed that they had a real interest in spending time getting to know their elders.

“Interesting”, “wise” and “experienced” were among the words the younger generation used to describe those older themselves, the research found.

Young adults were also no longer giving blanket stereotypes to older generations and instead found 88 per cent typically respected those over the age of 65.

“We are delighted to see that so many young people recognise and value our older generations," said Patrick Stannah, a spokesperson for stair-lift manufacturer Stannah, which conducted the poll. “All too often older people are portrayed by stereotypes as grumpy old folks who struggle with technology and are generally behind the times, but it is heartening to see that image hasn’t taken hold with today’s 18-40 year olds.

“Alongside outstanding role models such as Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Paul McCartney, it is clear that our older generations – parents, grandparents and great grandparents – are inspiring the generations that come after them.”

Another poll of 2,000 pensioners more than one in 10 over 65s worried they are seen as ‘boring’, while 16 per cent thought they were considered “past it”.

One in 10 thought they were viewed as slow or elderly, and 14 per cent thought they were considered to be “out of touch”.

But one in five of the 2,000 younger people surveyed, believed the older generation are inspiring and half thought they were knowledgeable.

The younger generation respected their elders because they liked hearing their stories from the past, giving insight to what life used to be like.

A fifth loved the fact that older people can say what they want, when they want, without worrying about the consequences.

However, a fifth of over-65s thought younger people would probably not be interested in communicating with them. Fourteen per cent also did not think they were considered as interesting by other generations.

Patrick Stannah, added: “When we think about what our older generation have lived through – from WWII, to the post-war boom, to the economic crises of the 70s and punk, to social media – they have seen a pace of change unlikely to be paralleled in any other generation. It is no wonder they have the respect of our younger generations who are eager to hear their stories.”

SWNS