Researchers find a knowledge gap between millennials and over 55s
The number of feet in a yard, how to wire a plug – and working out multiplication without a calculator are among the things older people are more likely to know than millennials, a study has found.
Researchers also found over 55s are less likely to turn to spell check and more likely to know when to use correct grammatical terms such as ‘who and whom’, ‘who’s and whose’.
How to change a car tyre, write a formal letter and play chess are also among the things the younger generation are yet to conquer.
The study was commissioned by Bupa, ahead of National Care Home Open Day 2018, an annual event that sees care homes open their doors so communities can engage with older residents, reducing isolation and helping break down barriers between the generations.
Joan Elliott, Managing Director at Bupa Care Homes said: “There’s so much we can learn from our older generations, but there’s a real danger that we’re losing valuable life skills and pastimes.
“Thankfully these things are easy to pass between generations, we just need to find time to start the conversations.
“Over 100 of our care homes will open their doors this weekend, hosting parties for their local communities.
“It’s a great chance to meet new faces and share stories. You might even learn something new.”
The poll of 2,000 adults found 58 per cent of over 55s know how to get stains out of clothes, while just 31 per cent of millennials are confident they can do the same.
Twice as many older Brits can sew on a button, with just half of 25 to 34-year-olds saying they can iron a shirt compared to 84 per cent of senior citizens.
And while three quarters of over 55s can rewire a plug, just 17 per cent of those under 35 reckon they could do the fix.
Older people lead the way in culinary skills too, with over 55s being most likely to know how to bake WITHOUT referring to a recipe book, as well as being able to guess the weight of ingredients just by looking at them.
The study also found almost three-quarters of people feel that younger generations don’t have the same levels of general knowledge, due to a reliance on the internet.
But 87 per cent of all adults wished they knew more practical skills, without having to turn to the internet for help.
In fact, 81 per cent of people turn to their internet in search of answers, compared to a quarter of people who ask friends or older relatives.
And just one in five still consult a book.
It also emerged 62 per cent of people agree older generations tend to be wiser, with almost 40 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds turning to older relatives if they have any questions.
And 70 per cent of millennials would like to learn more from older generations.
Eighty-three per cent of those polled also said it’s great for older and younger generations to come together and learn from each other.
Joan Elliott added:“There are plenty of useful skills which are being lost between generations, but Bupa’s National Care Home Day events will allow people to come together, share knowledge and stories, and learn from one another.”
Percentage of over 55s and millennials who are confident in each particular skill
(Over 55s) (25-34 year-olds)
The number of pounds in a stone 90% 52%
How to read the time on an analogue clock 90% 61%
The number of feet in a yard 90% 21%
How to manage money 86% 52%
How to iron a shirt 84% 51%
How to sew on a button 81% 41%
How to do times tables, without using a calculator 79% 41%
How to use an index 77% 35%
How to properly polish shoes 77% 28%
How to use cutlery in the right order 77% 39%
How to write a formal letter 77% 43%
How to wire a plug 73% 21%
How to spell without using spellcheck 72% 39%
How to lay a table properly 70% 39%
How and when to use correct grammar – such as ‘who’, ‘whom’, ‘whose’ or ‘who’s 67% 39%
How to garden 66% 22%
How long fresh foods keep for 63% 28%
How to treat a burn 62% 32%
How to get stains out of clothes 58% 31%
How to read an ordnance survey map 58% 24%
The number of centimetres in an inch 57% 33%
The collection times for your local post box 54% 18%
The names of different birds 48% 17%
How to repair worn or broken clothing 47% 17%
How to tie a sling or bandage 45% 18%
How to play chess 44% 27%
How to administer first aid 43% 30%
How to change a car tyre 43% 24%
How to make a cake without following a recipe 43% 27%
The price of a first class stamp 41% 20%
The number of kilometres in a mile 37% 25%
How to identify plants and flowers by name 37% 13%
How to arrange flowers 34% 16%
How to fix a bike chain 34% 21%
How to start a campfire 33% 19%
How to make marmalade or jam 31% 16%
How to guess the weight of ingredients by looking at them 25% 17%
How to crochet 23% 4%
How to ballroom dance e.g. Waltz or Tango 15% 4%
The names of different constellations of stars 15% 11%
How to mend a car engine 10% 5%