Archive - August, 2015

Flexible working key for older workers

Nine out of 10 (92 percent) senior business people in various industries in Singapore see flexible working critical for keeping older, experienced workers in the economy, according to the latest research by global workplace provider Regus.

The study also found that 96 percent of respondents confirm that flexible working is key to keeping carers and post-retirement workers in employment so that they can better juggle the demands of their family and their professional life. The study surveyed more than 586 people in January this year.

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Growing older without feeling old

 

Dr Rudi GJ Westendorp, Professor of Medicine at Old Age, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, leaves nothing out in his book, “Growing Older Without Feeling Old: On Vitality and Ageing”(left). He debunks many fad diets and “solutions” to ageing, and examines the attitudes of old people themselves.

Ageless Voice chats with the expert on ageing and the well-being of older people about his book and his perspectives on ageing:

With more people growing old and more are growing older, what does this mean to society and individuals?

Within a period of a hundred years, average life expectancy has doubled from 40 to 80 years. And it keeps going up. There has never been a time that one could foresee such a long and healthy life. The concentration of deaths moved from the youngest to the oldest ages and is accompanied by an unprecedented decrease in fertility rates. It has changed the demographic pyramid of our population drastically. With large increases in survival rates in the last half-century, current cohorts will move up through the population distribution. In 2050, the original pyramid will reach an almost rectangular shape and a skyscraper has erected.

These ‘demographic’ changes are at the heart of political, economic and public debate as the relative number of older adults increases. Governments have responded with measures in family planning, labour, social support and healthcare. I argue that the principle vision behind many of these measures is misguided, and ineffective as a result, as it is based on an (implicit) idealisation of the population pyramid with plenty youngsters to take care of the older population. Instead I suggest an age-independent approach that does not take chronological age – as a criterion for social contribution and (healthcare) consumption – as its basis.

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