Friday, 12 September 2008

Playgrounds for Pensioners

There is no shortage of playgrounds in this country, those of us with children can vouch for that.

However, someone has decided the focus needs to change - pensioners need to play too! The first pensioner playground was officially opened today in the southern Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen.

There are apparently a high number of pensioners in the area and it is hoped that it will become a natural meeting place and opportunity for them maintain their strength and agility.

If you don't understand Swedish then watch the SvD report (press play) for an idea of how the park is designed and what it is intended for.

The idea came from Barcelona, where there are over 100 playgrounds for the elderly. They are both highly frequented and appreciated by many members of the community.

Finland has also experimented with playgrounds for the elderly and found that children and the elderly enjoy being at the park together. Read the BBC's article about the Finnish playground manufacturer Lappset who are trying to change our way of taking kids to the park (so much for sitting on the bench reading while they play).

It is a great idea and I will be curious to see if it does in fact encourage pensioners to meet and be more active. I've long been a proponent of putting day-cares and elderly homes side by side, or at least encouraging regular exchanges between the two. Many oldies love little ones, and so many little ones don't have any oldies in their life. This is a step in the right direction!


  1. Love it. Now all we need are playgrounds for us middle aged folk. sam

  2. Yeah - I often think that when I am at the park with the kids - some of the stuff is just too little to climb around on