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Episodio #17: I "Nonni" Surrogati

Source: SBS

Mentre le persone si muovono sempre di più e sempre più facilmente nel mondo, alcune relazioni famigliari entrano in crisi. La soluzione può essere i “nonni surrogati”.

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Italian

Con la popolazione mondiale sempre più mobile, alcune relazioni familiari ne soffrono.

Oltre 1/3 degli australiani, il 35% come dimostrato dall'ultimo censimento, ha genitori nati all'estero, cosa che limita notevolmente il contatto con i membri più anziani che risiedono in un altro paese.

Ma non solo i bambini risentono di questa mancanza, anche i nonni risentono dell'impatto di avere la famiglia lontana.

Dal giardinaggio alla lettura, al pianoforte

Queste erano le voci di nonna Carey e della famiglia Fryett-Tigges intente in un importante rito settimanale.

Jessica Fryett-Tigges è inglese, mentre suo marito è brasiliano.

Hanno 3 figli sotto i 5 anni, Lais e i gemelli omozigoti Chloe e Saskia.

Nessuno dei due genitori ha familiari in Australia, ragione per cui hanno deciso di iscriversi ad una associazione senza scopo di lucro che mette in contatto famiglie con nonni surrogati- in questo caso una signora che hanno iniziato a chiamare Nonna Carey.

"For my husband's mother she's never seen them at all, because she has had to look after her mother in Brazil and she hasn't been able to travel. For my parents they come out annually, if they can. And I have been back to the UK once to see my parents with Lais, but as soon as the twins came it's been harder."

La signora Fryett-Tigges ha dichiarato di temere che i suoi figli potessero crescere senza l'influenza di una persona più anziana nelle loro vite e ha fatto in modo di assicurare ai suoi figli quella influenza.

"Fostering those relationships with an older person and seeing those ethics and values come through from that generation, which I think is missed in my peer group or the younger generation."

I benefici sono reciproci.

Attualmente in pensione, la ex-bibliotecaria Nonna Carey è un membro attivo della comunità e adora condividere la sua passione per il giardinaggio, la musica e la lettura.

Ma, dopo essersi spostata in una piccola città della costa con un'ampia comunità di pensionati e lontana dalla sua famiglia, Nonna Carey sentiva la mancanza di una compagni più giovane.

L'esperienza di volontariato all'interno di una famiglia giovane, l'ha aiutata a sentirti connessa.

"It keeps me in touch with younger people. I don't have a lot of contact with younger people, so you miss out on that and you just feel like you're moving around in one circle of your age group. And it's lovely to get that variety again and feel like you're more part of life. And I enjoy it because I love all the things that young people like to do."

Cate Kloos, creatrice di Find a Grandparent ha aperto il sito 6 anni fa.

Non si rivolge solo agli immigrati, ma a chiunque non abbia nipoti o nonni per ragioni diverse, incluse la distanza e fratture familiari.

La sua motivazione principale, però, era trovare nonni surrogati per i propri figli dopo essere immigrata dalla Germania.

Alla fine aveva trovato una signora che vivena nella stessa zona e che aveva contatti regolari con la sua famiglia di origine.

"I think I pretty much set it up out of desperation. So my family in Australia, we don't have any wider family around. So no grandparents for my children. I thought that was really sad. I was very close to my grandma when I was growing up and I wanted to give my kids the same experience. But then I thought that a lot of families would be in the same situation like me and they will benefit from it and older people would benefit from it as well."

I demografi hanno dichiarato che gli effetti di una popolazione mondiale più mobile sono sentiti anche dalle persone anziane che rimangono a casa.

La popolazione mondiale sta invecchiando, e di conseguenza la necessità di assistenza a lungo termine è in aumento.

In paesi in cui manca l'assistenza sociale pubblica, la cura degli anziani spesso ricade sulle famiglie e ci si aspetta che i figli si prendano cura dei loro familiari.

La dottoressa Liz Allen è una demografa dell'Australian National University di Canberra. La dottoressa ha detto che paesi come la Cina o il Giappone sono stati costretti a ricorrere a modi alternativi per adattarsi al rapido invecchiamento della popolazione.

"So there are facilities much like a youth centre that becomes an aged centre where people can go and participate in yoga and exercise that is suited for the elderly. So we are seeing some very smart ways of coping with this change in family and migration patterns."

Jessica Fryett-Tigges ha dichiarato di comprendere le preoccupazioni legate alla sicurezza di far entrare sconosciuti nelle proprie famiglie.

Incoraggia infatti le famiglie e scegliere programmi che richiedano a tutti i volontari di sostenere controlli approfonditi della fedina penale, compreso il working with children check.

Inoltre, insiste che i genitori debbano passare del tempo con i volontari per assicurarsi che siano compatibili in termini di valori e interessi.

Secondo nonna Carey molti adulti dovrebbero ricordare come ci si diverte.

''Children make you feel young. I enjoy that. You play and we don't play as we get older and it's lovely to play."

English

As the world's population moves about more easily and more often, some family relationships are suffering.

More than a third of Australians - 35 per cent, shown in the last census - have both parents born overseas, which can severely limit contact with older family members in a different country.

And it's not only the children who miss that contact - grandparents overseas also feel the impact of having family far away.

But there are people trying to fill that need

From gardening, to reading, to playing the piano.

They're part of an important weekly ritual for Nan Carey and the Fryett-Tigges family.

Jessica Fryett-Tigges is from England and her husband's from Brazil. They have three children under five - Lais, and identical twins Chloe and Saskia.

Neither has extended family in Australia, prompting them to join a not-for-profit group which links families with surrogate grandparents - in this case with a woman they have come to call Nan Carey.

"For my husband's mother she's never seen them at all, because she has had to look after her mother in Brazil and she hasn't been able to travel. For my parents they come out annually, if they can. And I have been back to the UK once to see my parents with Lais, but as soon as the twins came it's been harder."

Ms Fryett-Tigges says she was concerned her children were missing the influence of an older person in their lives and decided she should ensure her kids had that influence.

"Fostering those relationships with an older person and seeing those ethics and values come through from that generation, which I think is missed in my peer group or the younger generation."

The benefits go both ways.

Now retired, former librarian Nan Carey is an active member of the community and enjoys sharing her love of gardening, music and reading with others.

But moving to a coastal town with a large retiree community and away from her own immediate family made her miss the company of younger people.

Volunteering to be involved in the life of a young family has helped her stay connected.

"It keeps me in touch with younger people. I don't have a lot of contact with younger people, so you miss out on that and you just feel like you're moving around in one circle of your age group. And it's lovely to get that variety again and feel like you're more part of life. And I enjoy it because I love all the things that young people like to do."

Find a Grandparent founder Cate Kloos set up the website six years ago.

It was not only for migrants but for anyone without grandchildren or grandparents due to many factors, including distance or family breakdown.

Her initial motivation, though, was to find a surrogate grandparent for her own children after migrating from Germany.

She eventually found a woman in the local area who still has regular weekly contact with her family.

"I think I pretty much set it up out of desperation. So my family in Australia, we don't have any wider family around. So no grandparents for my children. I thought that was really sad. I was very close to my grandma when I was growing up and I wanted to give my kids the same experience. But then I thought that a lot of families would be in the same situation like me and they will benefit from it and older people would benefit from it as well."

Demographers say the effects of a more mobile world population are also being felt by older people left at home.

Populations around the world are aging, resulting in an increasing need for long-term care.

In countries where government social support systems are insufficient, care often falls to families and adult children are often expected to care for their relatives.

She says countries such as China and Japan are being forced to find new and creative ways of adapting to their rapidly aging populations.

"So there are facilities much like a youth centre that becomes an aged centre where people can go and participate in yoga and exercise that is suited for the elderly. So we are seeing some very smart ways of coping with this change in family and migration patterns."

Jessica Fryett-Tigges says she understands many have safety concerns about allowing strangers into their families.

She encourages isolated families to choose programs that require all volunteers to complete police checks, including working with children checks.

Nan Carey says many adults need to remember how to have fun.

''Children make you feel young. I enjoy that. You play and we don't play as we get older and it's lovely to play."

Report by Peggy Giakoumelos

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