by Agnese C.
Place of birth: Iglesias
Year of birth: 1947
What year were you born?
I was born on 1947.
Describe briefly the living conditions in your childhood (socio-economic status of the family, did you grow up in a nuclear family (how many children) or in an extended family (did you live with paternal or maternal grandparents, uncles and their families, did you go to school?).
Beautiful memory of a very close family. Second of 8 children. Father employed in the mining company. At the age of 17 for family reasons I moved to Geneva. Here I worked for three years, living in an aunt's house and leaving school in the 1st year. In Geneva I worked in a large laundry where I was busy ironing sheets with a large machine called a "calendar".
Describe briefly the circumstances of your life from adolescence to retirement (higher education, falling in love, marriage, career, children, holidays and travel, visions of society, environment, role of mobility) Was everything satisfactory, difficult, eventful?
After three years I returned to Carbonia and with my qualification I immediately found work at a laundry in my town. I worked until I was 26 years old when I decided to get married. I had a son and I spend my married life peacefully.
Describe the intergenerational relationships in your family
When I was young and lived with my parents I couldn't freely decide about my life even though I noticed big differences with my schoolmates who didn't have the same freedom as me. My son certainly had more personal freedom and decision-making, but our parents had the good fortune to live their seniority close to their children.
What was the position of older people when you were young (how were the most important decisions such as choices for education, profession, retirement planning. Please share a story that illustrates the intergenerational relationships in the society in which you grew up).
When I was young the idea of old age did not exist and life expectancy was long. Today with the awareness of a more mature age I think about it a lot and I am afraid of loneliness, not being self-sufficient and being cared for by strangers.
Please compare what you thought about old age when you were young, your expectations about your retired life and what it is really like now (it is your golden age when you realize all the desires of the past; it is time to enjoy moments of leisure with your grandchildren and family sharing your knowledge and experience; it is a time of loneliness without friends and being marginalized)? What does retirement mean to you?
I am currently a widow and live on a survivor's pension that provides me with the essentials for both health and communicating with my son who lives and works far away from my city.
Describe briefly the living conditions in your current life
The ability to care for grandchildren is not constant due to distance. I socialize with friends and neighbours. Among the daily habits I prefer gardening and for a long time I had a pet dog.
What media do you use in your everyday life (TV, radio, newspapers); what new technologies do you use (Internet, computers, smartphones) and have you noticed that your generation uses them and how?
Media used are TV daily, a few newspapers, and I have learned to use iPads and smartphones to communicate and video call my grandchildren.
What motivates you or can motivate you?
Even though I live alone I am very motivated because I am still healthy and when I communicate with my grandchildren I like to tell them about my life experiences and especially those of their grandfather that they did not have the opportunity to know.
The roles of pensioners / In your opinion, what are the main roles of pensioners
I love to tell my grandchildren stories of my country and when I visit their school friends come to hear them too. Aging makes me anxious and I'm afraid of the onset of disease, but I avoid thinking about it too much.
Having in mind the representations of the elderly in the media, what would be your message for the younger generations?
The advice I would like to leave to my grandchildren and to the young people of today is to live closer to the elders of their family because each of them transmits knowledge, experience and those values that are no longer there today. This in my opinion helps them face life with more confidence.