SENIOR CITIZENS WORKING IN EUROPEAN COMPANIES
Observatory of Demography and Generational Diversity, IE Foundation
A recent study directed by OBSERVATORY OF DEMOGRAPHY AND GENERATIONAL DIVERSITY, Spain analyzed the working data regarding Seniors. The study gathers detailed statistics about the demographic situations from 9 European countries. France and United Kingdom reach a high rate of aged persons ~13% of the total population.
The labor market is connected not only to the demographic situation, but also to economic growth, so if the economy is high, the rate of the workplace is high and the opposite.
For the age 60-64 the rate of employment varies considerably in EU countries, this fact is based on the early age limit in countries as France and more advanced age, like Sweden. The seniors are concentrated in the services sector with a majority of women employees, while the men are found more in the industrial sector. The retirement process involves several stages of acceptance and mental challenges that seniors are facing.
The financial factor has an important role as well in the decision of going to retirement because the majority don’t have other income that will cover their spending. The loss of a job and the difficulty of finding a new one represents the second reason why seniors across Europe get retired while reaching the target age is just the third one.
In the same statistic, we discover that the lowest positions in ranking are taken by health or disability and family care. Regarding gender, the statistics show that women are more integrated into the labor market over a certain age than men and the overall increase leads to greater participation of the senior population. Even if in some countries there are still more men employed (from this age group), the tendencies show an increase in the number of women than men in the labor market.
SOLO TRIP TOWARDS A NEW BEGINNING WHEN CHILDREN AND EMPLOYEMENT ARE GONE
Being something for someone is what the good life is all about. How to rediscover these very core life values after the children have moved away from home and after you have left the labor market - is a crucial challenge for seniors 60+. Perhaps the solution is - to quote the young Kennedy - not only asking the municipality what it can do for you as a retiree, but also asking what you can do for others in your municipality and local community.
The day when you no longer carelessly swing your legs over the edge of the bed at the first scratch from the alarm clock, signals not only a brand new phase in life, but also a radical and not so easy life change. As long as you are the guarantor that your children and youngsters must be encouraged, have packed lunches and helped on the way to school and in the world, and as long as there are tasks and colleagues at work, you must also be something for, there is no reason to consider what life is all about here and now. One must be something for someone. Exactly what you have trained in the first 20 years of life, and which you have now experienced and lived through for the next two times 20 years, until you round the sharp corner as a 60-year-old. “That’s life. I thought of quitting, baby but my heart just ain't gonna buy it “, which only Sinatra carelessly, experience-heavy can sing it spot-on.
"When you become a parent, you get an increased meaning in life. You do not have to struggle to understand why you exist. The moment you are no longer indispensable, you need to look at who you are”.
When the elderly want to continue working
At the Cross Hearts nursing home in Yokohama, Japan, 71-year-old Keichi Tasaha could be mistaken for a client.
But no, he is an employee here. He is working his second job in life - an elderly care worker whose job was a tofu maker when he was young.
“I'm old too so I can understand what they're going through. I really feel like I'm interacting with the residents here, not taking care of them. I'm really grateful to get this job," he said.
Like Mr. Tasaha, at the age of 71, Mrs. Coniglio in California, USA felt sorry for herself and many other elderly people in the area when they had the qualifications, skills and energy but had to end their lives soon by sitting on the sofa all day.
She decided to open an employment service center for the elderly with the hope of changing society's view of the elderly.
Just a few days after the center opened, her office received a flood of applications. Some people needed to increase their income while others simply wanted to work.
According to psychologists, at retirement age, the elderly still have a desire to communicate, expressed in "wanting to work". If this need is not met, the health and life expectancy of the elderly can be affected, and at the same time it is a waste for the economy.
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Do you know the population pyramid and the projections of the ageing of Europeans by 2100? Take a look!
In 2000, there were 22,7 older people per 100 working-age people and in 2018, the number was 31,7. According to the latest EUROPOP2018 population projections, there will be 44,7 older people per 100 working-age people by 2030 (Development Report 2020, UMAR). The number of older people compared to those of working age will double in 30 years.
It is therefore important that companies deal with efficient management of older employees TODAY.
SILVER project engages the processes of ageing and career promotion in the third age. We will develop learning tools that will help prolong careers or prepare for retirement and enable older employees to actively grow older in the workplace.
Age-friendly workplace. Expectations vs. reality
During the 2021 summer, the SILVER’s project partners organised several interviews on the topic of "age-friendly workplace", in order to see the expectations seniors’ in this regard, and what managers and HR specialists actually offer for an active retirement.
The interviews that have been held in each partner country showed that there is a common goal for work inclusion for seniors, due to their experience. However, not all institutions are prepared to assure a smooth transition to retirement through ageing programmes that encourage seniors to remain longer at their job or to change it.
While managers and HR specialists in some situations describe ideal ways of integrating seniors into the workplace for a longer period so that they can exchange experiences with new generations, seniors have no information about processes or programs that might extend their stay in a company unless they specifically mention this.
Furthermore, this research outlines that nowadays, staying at home with grandchildren is not a choice for all seniors. This means that they are looking for opportunities to enrich their daily routine with new types of activities.