Elderly 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
Elderly 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

Feet in a yard and how to wire a plug: all the things older people are more likely to know than millenials

'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'

Astrid Hall
Tuesday 17 April 2018 18:22
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The number of feet in a yard, how to wire a plug and working out multiplications 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 and who’s and whose.

How to change a car tyre, write a formal letter and play chess are also among the things the younger people are yet to conquer.

“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," said Joan Elliott, managing director at Bupa Care Homes, which commissioned the study.

“Thankfully these things are easy to pass between generations, we just need to find time to start the conversations."

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 people 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. While three quarters of over 55s can rewire a plug, just 17 per cent of those under 35 think they could do so.

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.

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 total, 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, while 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, while 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.

The 40 skills which over 55s can do better than millennials:

The number of pounds in a stone = (over 55s – 90 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 52 per cent)

How to read the time on an analogue clock = (over 55s – 90 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 61 per cent)

The number of feet in a yard = (over 55s – 90 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 21 per cent)

How to manage money = (over 55s – 86 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 52 per cent)

How to iron a shirt = (over 55s – 84 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 51 per cent)

How to sew on a button = (over 55s – 81 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 41 per cent)

How to do times tables without using a calculator = (over 55s – 79 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 41 per cent)

How to use an index = (over 55s – 77 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 35 per cent)

How to properly polish shoes = (over 55s – 77 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 28 per cent)

How to use cutlery in the right order = (over 55s – 77 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 39 per cent)

How to write a formal letter = (over 55s – 77 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 43 per cent)

How to wire a plug = (over 55s – 73 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 21 per cent)

How to spell without using spellcheck = (over 55s – 72 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 39 per cent)

How to lay a table properly = (over 55s – 70 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 39 per cent)

How and when to use correct grammar – such as who, whom, whose or who's (over 55s – 67 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 39 per cent)

How to garden = (over 55s – 66 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 22 per cent)

How long fresh foods stay in date = (over 55s – 63 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 28 per cent)

How to treat a burn = (over 55s – 62 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 32 per cent)

How to get stains out of clothes = (over 55s – 58 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 31 per cent)

How to read an ordnance survey map = (over 55s – 58 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 24 per cent)

The number of centimetres in an inch = (over 55s – 57 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 33 per cent)

The collection times for your local post box = (over 55s – 54 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 18 per cent)

The names of different birds = (over 55s – 48 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 17 per cent)

How to repair worn or broken clothing = (over 55s – 47 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 17 per cent)

How to tie a sling or bandage = (over 55s – 45 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 18 per cent)

How to play chess = (over 55s – 44 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 27 per cent)

How to administer first aid = (over 55s – 43 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 30 per cent

How to change a car tyre = (over 55s – 43 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 24 per cent)

The price of a first class stamp = (over 55s – 41 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 20 per cent)

The number of kilometres in a mile = (over 55s – 37 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 25 per cent)

How to identify plants and flowers by name = (over 55s – 37 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 13 per cent)

How to arrange flowers = (over 55s – 34 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 16 per cent)

How to fix a bike chain = (over 55s – 34 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 21 per cent)

How to start a campfire = (over 55s – 33 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 19 per cent)

How to make marmalade or jam = (over 55s – 31 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 16 per cent)

How to guess the weight of ingredients by looking at them = (over 55s – 25 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 17 per cent)

How to crochet = (over 55s – 23 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – four per cent)

How to ballroom dance eg Waltz or Tango = (over 55s – 15 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – four per cent)

The names of different constellations of stars = (over 55s – 15 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – 11 per cent)

How to mend a car engine = (over 55s – 10 per cent), (25- to 34-year-olds – five per cent)

SWNS

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