Thirty years ago, the Berlin Wall, a symbol between East and West, the socialist and capitalist world, was overthrown. Europe believed in the idea of unity. Today we see that psychological and ideological walls are not that easily broken. Old migrants and old people from minorities carry in themselves identities that we do not see but that we must be able to identify to be able to provide intercultural elderly care. Identities are a social construct. Identities are dynamic and ever-changing concepts that are changed also through ideologies present in societies. The historical changes in political systems have affected the social identities of older people, old migrants, and older adults from minority groups. Identity is part of a person’s self-conception and self-perception, and it is also the result of labeling mechanisms arising from encounters between contrasting individuals and groups. Some of these mechanisms refer to family systems, religious systems, communication, and political systems.
This year we would like to invite ENIEC members to discuss the concept of social identities as a legacy of political systems. We would like to approach how this legacy has a direct impact in the context of providing intercultural social and health care for minority older people and old migrants in Europe, with special attention to identities among the elderly from East European countries who come from Soviet times.
We’re privileged to be invited to have the ENIEC Annual Meeting in Tallinn by the City of Tallinn. We’re happy to announce that Tallinn City Government is supporting our meeting and inviting us to have our Opening Ceremony at Tallinn Raekoda, Tallinn City Hall. www.tallinn.ee/eng/