Similar to other countries in the European Union, contemporary Switzerland faces concerns about an ageing population, and the policy framework of active ageing is one response. Today’s retirees are asked to actively participate in society in ways that are recognized as social contributions. We argue, however, that the redefinition of the role of retiree to be an “active ager” rests upon gender inequalities, among others. As a result, this framework can reinforce the exploitation of elders, especially old women. To illustrate our argument, we draw on interviews conducted among Swiss retirees to demonstrate the ways that active ageing ignores that work in which they are engaged already, while it also rests upon and reshapes gender inequalities in later life.
The purpose of the paper is to explore how policy narratives in European policy documents frame the image and role of a senior entrepreneur. This article includes a critical assessment of policy texts in two policy frameworks of European Union and OECD, namely: the active ageing framework and the inclusive entrepreneurship framework. The aim of this paper is to address two research questions: How is senior entrepreneurship framed in the European policies? What are the narratives of exclusion and inclusion construed in the European policies on senior entrepreneurship? Using the theoretical perspective of enterprising self and critical gerontology, the paper identifies two major narrations within which the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion operate: the hegemonic model of a senior entrepreneur and the economization of the model of senior entrepreneurship, with two sub-themes: the growth paradigm and the concept of entrepreneurial success. The recommendation for the future research and policy makers proposed in this paper is a more systematic development of life course sensitive policies with a more suitable mix of diverse approaches which would deescalate the existing inequalities.
In this paper, we aim to analyse selected structural determinants of workforce participation after retirement in Poland. By structural determinants we mean characteristics of one’s socio-economic position that (a) result from the interplay of social conditions (mechanisms of power, differentiated access to resources) and individual agency, and (b) restrict or facilitate individuals’ choices. We conceptualise workforce participation as engaging in either part- or full-time paid employment despite receiving the old-age pension. Our general hypothesis is that working in older age is not only a matter of motivation or psychological traits but also a complex interplay of structural characteristics, accumulated by individuals during their life course. In the paper, we test a number of hypotheses about the role of specific components of socio-economic status (SES), i.e. occupational prestige, education, and wealth, for workforce participation among retirees. We argue that, in case of retirees, the prestige of the last job before retirement is a more reliable measure of the social position than education. Hence, we conduct a more detailed analysis of the role of occupational prestige for the chances of being employed after retirement. The analysis was based on data gathered in the years 2013–2014 within the sixth wave of the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN (www.polpan.org). We extracted a subsample of retirees from this dataset and used logistic regression to test the hypotheses described above. We found that both occupational prestige of the last job before retirement and educational attainments are strong predictors of being in paid work after retirement, however the impact of occupational prestige varies across the groups with the lowest and higher level of retirement pension. We also found that there are horizontal differences in the occupational structure of the chances for workforce participation after retirement and additionally found that being a farm owner increases the propensity to engage in economic activity after retirement. The paper contributes to the field of studies on the relationship between SES and workforce participation after retirement in line with the cumulative advantage/disadvantage theory and shows that resources that individuals have accumulated during the life course can determine their chances of working after retirement just as individual motivations or organisational characteristics do.
Volunteering in later life is an important way of staying involved in one’s community and engaging in a meaningful activity that has a positive impact on others. Previous research has mainly described the antecedents and consequences of volunteering; the process and experiences associated with performing this role has been less studied. The aim of this study was to assess the positive and negative experiences of older managers involved in an entrepreneurial mentoring organization. Fourteen older male volunteers were administered a semi-structured interview and the data obtained were analyzed thematically. The themes that emerged were the importance of the final result as a filter to assess the whole mentoring experience, the mentor-mentee bond, and the self-attribution of successes and failures. These themes were discussed using the generativity theory as a framework to understand the experiences of older adults keen to pass on their skills and knowledge to a younger generation.
Focusing on financial outcomes in retirement for women, this paper critically examines the suite of “productivist” policies proposed by leading regional and global policy institutions as a solution to what they perceive as a potential population ageing crisis. Specifically, the paper challenges the claim that this suite of policies constitutes a virtuous system. Taking the life course timing of women’s paid and unpaid work, we successively integrate the likely key consequences of “productivist ageing” policy in a series of retirement income scenarios. The series culminates in a situation where a mother twice enters and leaves paid employment to provide respectively child care and elder care. Rather than illustrating a sustainable system, our results indicate a viscous, intergenerational cycle in which impoverished caregivers are in turn forced to rely on the unpaid care of their adult daughters.
In the context of the future development of a high-quality, user-driven elderly care system and efforts to ensure sufficient labour supply and job quality in this sector, it is important to analyse the sector from the perspective of both service users and service providers. The article aims to reveal the controversy between the demand for eldercare services, which reflects preference for informal care and home help services, and the challenge of securing quality jobs for care sector’s employees. Expectations of potential service users with regard to care services in Lithuania indicate a need for developing various employment models, including non-standard forms of employment, in order to ensure better access for the elderly to in-home services. On the other hand, taking into account the problem of the quality of jobs, the article considers not only the preconditions for developing the service system itself, but also the issues of job quality within the sector.
Living and working conditions of 111 migrant live-in homecare workers caring for older care recipients in Israel were assessed using structured face-to-face interviews. Questions pertained to the categories of living conditions, food-related arrangements, and work conditions and benefits; the most important, most satisfactory, and least satisfactory items in these categories; as well as ratings of satisfaction in these areas. Problematic areas included resting days, hours worked per day, and ability to leave during the day. Mean satisfaction ratings were high (between a large to a very large extent) and were similar with respect to living conditions, food-related arrangements, and work conditions and benefits. Reported satisfaction with salary was significantly lower (between a moderate to a large extent). Items associated with reported satisfaction levels revealed the importance of comfort and control. The data indicate that discrepancies remain between recommended and actual working conditions for migrant live-in homecare workers in Israel.
The number of individuals aged sixty and older is expected to increase from 605 million in 2000 to over two billion in 2050. As a consequence the number of elderly medicare beneficiaries likely to be frail will triple. Our study explored the factors of successful aging in a sample of nonagenarians with no cognitive impairment, temporarily admitted to a rehabilitation hospital complex, with regard to quality of life, mood, clinical and cognitive conditions and personality traits. It was a descriptive study with forty nonagenarians of both genders, with no cognitive impairment, no psychiatric diseases and forty two younger patients with similar diseases and socio-demographic conditions, but aged <90. The sample was recruited randomly among patients temporarily admitted to Beata Vergine Consolata Rehabilitation Hospital Complex from 2009 to 2015. The nonagenarians examined showed common personality traits, better mood, better QOL than the younger patients. The nonagenarians' strengths seemed to be the awareness of having enough economic independence, some personality traits and family/social support. Old age does not seem to be a factor for poor quality of life.
An increase in the number of elderly has many social implications and demands from a nation to ensure that their well-being and welfare are well taken care of. The purpose of this paper is to determine the factors influencing living arrangements for the elderly in Malaysia. The traditional notion that children will have to take care of their parents when they grow old is slowly changing due to urbanization and high cost of living. We see that more and more of the elderly are independently taking care of themselves. The 2009 Household Income Expenditure (HIES) survey data was used to understand the living arrangements of Malaysia's elderly population. The study found that 64.17 % of elderly co-resided with at least one adult child, indicating that familial support was still important despite modernization. Almost a quarter of the elderly live by themselves, either with spouse only (17.94 %) or lived alone (6.18 %). A multinomial logistic regression was performed to understand the factors influencing the living arrangements of the elderly. Predictive probability was run to compute the marginal change in the probability of living arrangement. It is predicted that male elderly and elderly who lived in rural area are more likely to live alone while older and Chinese elderly are more likely to co-reside with an adult child. As would be expected, still married elderly is more likely to co-reside with their spouses. Elderly who is still working and having received at least primary education is least likely to co-reside with an adult child.
People’s life expectancy is increasing throughout the world as a result of improved living standards and medical advances. The natural ageing process is accompanied by physiological changes which can have significant consequences for mobility. As a consequence, older people tend to make fewer journeys than other adults and may change their transport mode. Access to public transport can help older people to avail themselves of goods, services, employment and other activities. With the current generation of older people being more active than previous generations of equivalent age, public transport will play a crucial role in maintaining their active life style even when they are unable to drive. Hence, public transport is important to older people’s quality of life, their sense of freedom and independence. Within the European Commission funded GOAL (Growing Older and staying mobile) project, the requirements of older people using public transport were studied in terms of four main issues: Affordability, availability, accessibility and acceptability. These requirements were then analysed in terms of five different profiles of older people defined within the GOAL project – ‘Fit as a Fiddle’, ‘Hole in the Heart’, ‘Happily Connected’, An ‘Oldie but a Goodie’ and ‘Care-Full’. On the basis of the analysis the paper brings out some areas of knowledge gaps and research needed to make public transport much more attractive and used by older people in the 21st century.
In light of rapid socio-economic transformations combined with a growing ageing population, Chinese authorities have embarked on multiple initiatives to improve their long-term care (LTC) policies. As in Western countries, many of these new strategies involve the deployment of measures to facilitate ageing within one’s community. Relying on interviews of older adults in urban China, this study reveals the tension between policy imperatives and lived experiences by analysing their apprehensions, perceptions and expectations of LTC services. The findings reveal that LTC facilities continue to be perceived as a last resort solution, which accentuates worries concerning the under-development of home- and community-based health and social services. In addition, the interviews denote shifting filial relationships and expectations that have important consequences on the types, quality and quantity of LTC services and of the support older adults expect to receive from their children. In some cases, the narrative has shifted entirely towards sacrificing one’s well-being in order to support younger adults.
Worldwide, older people’s support used to be the adult children’s responsibility. In China, two generations after introducing the one-child policy in the late 70-ies, this becomes an increasingly demanding obligation. The Chinese government took the responsibility to mitigating old- age poverty risks and realized unprecedented progress in pension coverage. At the same time, the household savings increased to about 30 % of disposable income. Built on previous research on the politics of ageing, this study analyses households responses to the established governmental and firm pension programs as well as to the New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS), introduced in 2009. The central question is: will participation in the established and new pension programs lead to higher current Chinese household expenditures and therefore to lower savings? The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) dataset of 2011 offered the opportunity to study the influence of the recently introduced NRPS. We find that Chinese households with members between 45 and 60 years who expect future benefits of NRPS do not have higher expenditures than those not covered by NRPS. For the participants in the established, mostly urban pension programs a correlation was found with higher current expenditures (28 % more spending on basic needs, 80 % more on luxury) However, further analysis shows that this correlation cannot be interpreted as a causal relationship. This implies that coverage by pensions, be it in urban or rural programs, does not determine higher current expenditures and lower savings.
In this study, we aimed to identify which of certain demographic and socio-economic groups in the oldest part of the population that have an increased probability of experiencing simultaneous disadvantages in different life domains - here termed coexisting disadvantages. To do so, we compared analyses of coexisting disadvantages, measured as two or more simultaneous disadvantages, with analyses of single disadvantages and specific combinations of disadvantages. Indicators of physical health problems, ADL limitations, psychological health problems, limited financial resources, and limited social resources were included. We used nationally representative data from 2011 on people aged 76 and older in Sweden (n = 765). Results showed that coexisting disadvantages were associated with specific demographic and socio-economic groups, particularly certain marital status groups. Moreover, the differences between the demographic and socio-economic groups were only found for those who reported coexisting disadvantages, and not for those who reported only one disadvantage, which suggests that demographic and social factors become more important as disadvantages compound. Further, we analysed pairwise combinations of disadvantages. We found that different combinations of disadvantages tended to be associated with different groups, information useful from a social planning perspective since different combinations of disadvantages may imply different needs for help and support.
Japan and Sweden have similar ambitions and both similarities and differences when it comes to provide long term care (LTC) for their old age citizens. The study compares cost increase for LTC in Japan and Sweden in the time period 2000–2010 by decomposing the changes in costs into changes in the size of the old age population (65 years and above) , the distribution on level of dependency /disability by age-group and gender, the volume of provided LTC services in relation to level of dependency/disability and the unit costs for provided services. The analysis of needs of LTC services is based upon nationally representative sample surveys population studies completed in each country: Nihon University Japanese Longitudial Study of Aging and the Swedish Survey of Living Conditions with 19. 602 and 9.433 observations respectively. Data on LTC services provision by level of dependency/ disability is taken from nine Japanese municipalities collected by assessments in the LTCI-system and from surveys in eight Swedish municipalities. It is shown by the analysis that the rapid cost increase in Japan in the period 2000–2010, 108 %, has mainly been driven by the increase in the old age population. However, another important factor in the period 2000–2005 has been increased provision of LTC services given level of dependency. In Sweden the cost increase depending on population increase has been countered by decreasing levels of disability by age-groupand gender. Services provision given needs of LTC has not increased very much. As a result the cost increase in the time period 2000–2010 has been much lower, +6 %.
There is much research about those who exit the labour market prematurely, however, comparatively little is known about people working longer and about their employment and working conditions. In this paper, we describe the employment and working conditions of men and women working between 65 and 80 years, and compare them with previous conditions of those retired in the same age group. Analyses are based on wave 4 data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) with information collected between 2009 and 2011 from 17,625 older men and women across 16 European countries. Besides socio-demographic and health-related factors (physical and mental health), the focus lies on employment conditions (e.g. employment status, occupational position and working hours) and on stressful working conditions, measured in terms of low control at work and effort-reward imbalance. In case of retired people, information on working conditions refer to the last job before retirement. Following descriptive analyses, we then conduct multivariable analyses and investigate how working conditions and poor health are related to labour market participation (i.e. random intercept models accounting for country affiliation and adjusted for potential confounders). Results illustrate that people working between the ages of 65 and 80 are more likely to be self-employed (either with or without employees) and work in advantaged occupational positions. Furthermore, findings reveal that psychosocial working conditions are generally better than the conditions retired respondents had in their last job. Finally, in contrast to those who work, health tends to be worse among retired people. In conclusion, findings deliver empirical evidence that paid employment beyond age 65 is more common among self-employed workers throughout Europe, in advantaged occupations and under-favourable psychosocial circumstances, and that this group of workers are in considerably good mental and physical health. This highlights that policies aimed at increasing the state pension age beyond the age of 65 years put pressure on specific disadvantaged groups of men and women.
In Norway, long-term care needs are rising rapidly. Due to the dual-earner family model and the fact that many people live far away from frail parents and other dependent family members, the growing care needs may not be met through informal care. Through the Nordic welfare system, formal care services are provided to all citizens in need of care, regardless of their age, income or family relations. Since the 1990s, however, Norway has experienced a shortage of healthcare personnel. In this ‘care deficit’ situation, skilled immigrants play an increasingly important role. To date, the international literature has examined the experiences of the professional migrant care workers in a limited way. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge of this issue in rural contexts where recruitment challenges may be even more pronounced than in urban areas. This article addresses this knowledge gap by examining the spatial and relational experiences of skilled migrants working in the healthcare sector in Finnmark, northernmost Norway. In this study, the informants share largely positive experiences, stating that their care services are highly valued and that caring provides them with a sense of joy and mastery. Moreover, they talk about the importance of establishing trust in the relationship with their users and note that some patients end up becoming almost like family members. The migrants’ relationships with colleagues and management at the workplace are also defined by mainly positive feelings, trust and respect. Caring is hence perceived by the migrants as an inherently sense-making practice.
The 15th April 2017 saw the end of the final living link to the nineteenth century. Emma Morano died at her home in northern Italy aged 117, one of the five longest lived people in recorded history. Emma was born in November 1899 and is believed to have been the last survivor from the nineteenth Century. She survived two world wars and more than 90 Italian governments. Emma is succeeded by Violet Brown, a 117-year-old Jamaican woman. None has yet to achieve the longest recorded life, which is still held by Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 aged 122 years, 164 days - the longest documented human lifespan.In the eighteenth century, there were probably 10 centenarians in the whole of Europe, now there are 14,500 just in the UK, and by the end of the century it is projected that there will be close to 1.5 million. There are already over half a million over 90, and 850 people in the UK over 105. Yet we are still achieving these very long lives without the radical intervention that science can bring, and the recent discussion in Nature has again highlighted the view that there is currently no reason to suppose that there is a maximum life span.In recognition of 500 years since Martin Luther asserted his reformations, unleashing unforeseen change across Europe, I was invited to assert a reformation of the reimagining of the concept of age, ageing and old age for the twenty-first century. I argued not only that our past and present conceptualisations of ageing and old age are at odds with contemporary reality, but that our entire lives – particularly those in advanced economies - are now being played out in a world which is in itself ageing. To grow old in a society which is old is very different from growing old in a society which is young.
The 15th April 2017 saw the final living link to the nineteenth century come to an end. Emma Morano, one of the five longest lived people in recorded history, died at her home in northern Italy aged 117. Emma was born in November 1899 and is believed to have been the last survivor from the nineteenth Century. One of eight children, she was born in Civiasco in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, and lived through two world wars and more than 90 Italian governments. Emma is succeeded by Violet Brown, a 117-year-old Jamaican woman. The second and third oldest people are two Japanese women, Nabi Tajima and Chiyo Miyako, who were born, respectively, in August 1900 and May 1901. Ana Vela, 115, a Spanish women, was born in October 1901, and is currently the oldest European and the fourth oldest person in the world. None have yet to achieve the longest recorded life, which is still held by Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 aged 122 years, 164 days - the longest documented human lifespan.Yet still we are achieving these very long lives without the radical intervention that science can bring. Emma Morano did not have stem cell therapy nor a 3D printed heart nor, as far as we know, underwent a calorific restricted diet. Of the 4 recognised drivers of long living – healthy living, disease prevention and cure, regenerative medicine and age-retardation – Emma Morano, like Jeanne Calment before her, achieved her long life by the first two.Indeed to date, beyond the laboratory, the key question asked by geriatricians, bio-gerontologists and bio-demographers alike is how much longevity (maximum life spans) and life expectancy (average life spans) can we expect to gain without the intensive application of scientific medicine? There is an additional interest in estimating the impact of delaying the onset of age-related diseases rather than eliminating them altogether.In particular there is a growing focus on our understanding of the genetic drivers of very long lived people.
With increasing pressure on retirement-aged individuals to provide informal care while remaining in the work-force, it is important to understand the impact of informal care demands on individuals' retirement decisions. This paper explores whether different intensities of informal caregiving can lead to retirement for women in the United States. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women, we control for time-invariant heterogeneity and for time-varying sources of bias with a two-stage least squares model with fixed effects. We find that women who provide at least 20 hours of informal care per week are 1 to 3 percentage points more likely to retire relative to other women. We also find that when unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for with fixed effects, we cannot reject exogeneity. These findings suggest that for a sub-set of high intensity caregivers, policies encouraging both informal care and later retirement may not be feasible without allowances for flexible scheduling or other supports for working caregivers. á...Y