In this paper, we use the concept of prospective age to illuminate patterns of aging by gender, and education in Europe. We find that, within countries, the patterns of aging of men and women with high education are comparatively similar to one another, but that the patterns of aging are quite dissimilar for men and women in the low education group. Across countries the patterns of aging become more similar as education levels increase. Thus, when we look across educational strata, we find increasing convergence in the pattern of aging both across countries and by gender within countries. The distinctive patterns of aging in the Eastern European countries are largely associated with the comparatively rapid aging of men in the low education category. If aging patterns by education persist, improvements in the education composition of Eastern European countries would result in the patterns of aging there becoming more similar to those in Western European countries.
It is clear that migration is a valid policy approach in the context of the ageing of the UK. There is general consensus that immigration to both the UK and Europe will in the short term achieve immediate increases in total fertility rates, population growth and labour market contribution. The evidence is that migrants contribute to public welfare such as pensions and health care but usually do not draw on them, at least immediately. It was predicted that prior to Brexit, Britain should expect 140,000 net immigrants a year for the next 50 years. In 2013 the Office for Budget Responsibility, calculated that increasing this to 300,000 annually would reduce UK government debt by almost a third while stopping immigration would increase the debt by almost 50 % (Office for Budget Responsibility 2013). However, as the 2016 Referendum has also shown, globalisation with its inevitable mass movement of peoples across the globe has significant economic and social impacts on local communities, often not taken seriously by national governments.
This article presents an in-depth qualitative study using a phenomenological approach to understand loneliness among elderly individuals in Malaysia. The objective of the study was to understand how the Malaysian elderly perceive and understand social isolation as well as loneliness, with the aim of identifying the factors that cause emotional loneliness among the elderly in nursing homes. In addition, this study also explored their coping strategies when dealing with loneliness. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten elderly participants from two different nursing homes in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor with representatives from the three major ethnic groups of Malaysia. Based on the results, there are several factors that cause the elderly to feel lonely – health factors, lack of family ties, and the lack of communication and cognitive factors, such as memory and perception. It was also found that internal (expectations and optimism) and external (work and activities) coping strategies play major roles in overcoming loneliness. In conclusion, some recommendations are made to respective party families and the government to consider when developing plans to help the elderly overcome loneliness, which could strengthen the family and social support system in Malaysia.
Studies investigating the impact of combining paid work and family life on wellbeing have generally used information at one or a limited number of points in the life course, and have mainly focused on women. This study uses multi-channel sequence analysis to characterise work-family life courses across adulthood (ages 16–60) for more than 1500 men and women in the MRC National Study of Health and Development. Wellbeing at age 60–64 was captured by the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well Being Scale (WEMWBS) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). A typology of 11 work-family groups was derived, across which there was greater variation for women. Adjusted for socioeconomic position, parental separation, adolescent internalising and externalising disorders, and health, men who had strong ties to paid work but no family had lower life satisfaction than those who combined work with parenthood and marriage (regression coefficient −2.89 (95 %CI: −5.04, −0.74); standard deviation for SWLS = 6.01). Women with weaker ties to paid work had lower life satisfaction, as did women who did not have children, compared to those who combined strong ties to paid work with marriage and parenthood. There were no significant associations between work-family life courses and WEMWBS or GHQ. This study shows that the way in which people combine work and family life may impact life satisfaction in early old age and highlights the need for policies that support combining work and family life.
Taking paid work among men and women beyond pension age as an example, the contribution examines the interrelationship between life courses, gendered welfare regimes, and later-life employment outcomes. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, the article focuses on the role of inequalities, gender and marital status for working despite receiving a pension, and on the subjective reasons for this employment. The quantitative analyses are based on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the German Ageing Survey (DEAS), and the qualitative evidence on semi-structured interviews with working pensioners in Germany and the UK. Gender differences in working can be traced back in part to differences in educational qualification and in pre-retirement class. Although no general gender differences in the reasons for paid employment can be found, financial reasons are mentioned much more often by divorced women in Germany and widowed women in the UK than by men and by married women. The qualitative data underlines the special role earned income plays for divorced women and, more generally, the variety of reasons which motivate pensioners to work for pay. Furthermore, pension age is less meaningful for mothers because of their patchier careers. All in all, (poor) labour market chances and household dynamics in old age are interrelated in gendered patterns of old age employment, and accompanied by specific interpretations of this work.
The influence of early life, accumulation and social mobility on wellbeing in later life in the U.S. and England is investigated. Using cross-sectional data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), we estimate multivariate regressions of hedonic and eudemonic measures of wellbeing on these life course mechanisms, controlling for age, gender, ethnic background, partnership status, health and wealth. On the level of the life course mechanisms, there is mixed evidence regarding the critical impact of early life, strong evidence for an association between accumulation and eudemonic wellbeing and a moderate negative effect of downward social mobility. While the relation between hedonic wellbeing and life course mechanisms is unclear or in a different direction than anticipated, eudemonic wellbeing is clearly related to accumulation and mobility in both countries and to early life in the U.S. On the societal level, the major observation is that the life course has a larger influence in the U.S. than in England.
There is increasing recognition that disadvantaged work and employment conditions over the life course, including psychosocial stress at work, have negative long-term effects on health at older ages. Yet, the question whether stress at work additionally influences the likelihood of participating in voluntary work during retirement still needs to be explored. This paper studies long-term influences of stressful work during adulthood (as defined by low control and low reward at work) on participation in voluntary work in older ages. Analyses are based on the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), with detailed retrospective information on individual life courses collected among 11,751 retired men and women in 13 European countries. Results of multivariable analyses demonstrate that people who experienced stressful work are also less likely to participate in voluntary work during retirement. Importantly, these associations remain significant after controlling for important factors, including disability in older ages and disadvantaged socioeconomic circumstances. In conclusion, findings suggest that promoting good working conditions may not only increase health and well-being, but also encourage participation in productive activities after labour market exit.
This paper deals with the relationship between family formation and employment in older cohorts of the English population born between 1916 and 1957. Based on retrospective life history data of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and using sequence and cluster analyses, we explore three dimensions in particular: employment, marital status, and having children, and the extent to which individuals’ life course trajectories on these three dimensions vary across cohorts, gender, and level of education. While the majority of men followed a trajectory of marriage and family formation with a (relatively) continuous career, the family-work trajectories of women varied noticeably from one cohort to the next, including increased labour market participation combined with fewer and shorter breaks from work to care for children. While the current perception is that the so-called ‘baby boomer’ generation born soon after World War Two was path-breaking in terms of life course innovations, our findings are not compatible with the assumption of a single cohort being particularly pioneering.
In many countries like Australia and the United States, baby boomers are referred to as the ‘lucky cohort’, yet there has been little research on the origins and extent of inequalities within this cohort. This study uses path analysis to investigate direct and indirect effects of childhood and adult socioeconomic status and health on two subjective well-being measures: quality of life and life satisfaction. Retrospective life course data were obtained for 1,261 people aged 60 to 64 in the 2011–12 Life Histories and Health survey, a sub-study of the Australian 45 and Up Study. Supporting an accumulation model, the number of negative childhood and adult exposures were inversely related to both types of well-being. Consistent with a critical period model, childhood exposures had small but significant effects on subjective well-being and were relatively more important for quality of life than for life satisfaction. However, these childhood effects were largely indirect and significantly mediated by more proximal adult exposures, providing support for a pathway model. A key implication of this research is that the critical period for later life well-being is significant in adulthood rather than childhood, suggesting that there may be key opportunities for improving individuals’ later life well-being far beyond the early, formative years. This research highlights the importance of understanding how earlier life exposures impact experiences in later life, and investing in health and socioeconomic opportunities to reduce inequalities across all stages of life.
In this paper we used wave 1 (2002) to wave 6 (2012) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to assess whether trajectories in the prevalence of self-reported limiting long term illness differed before and after retirement and whether any such differences in slope were found across socio-economic characteristics and the conditions of work in the final years of employment. The longitudinal analysis used a sub-sample of ELSA comprising those who retired between wave 2 (2004) and wave 6 (2012). We fitted a repeated measure logistic regression to model the trajectory in the log odds of illness before and after retirement. We found evidence of a slower increase in self-reported illness after than before retirement that was most strongly observed for those in the least favourable circumstances prior to retirement (lower social class, depressed prior to retirement and single). A similar retirement effect was observed for those in physically demanding occupations. Whilst we did not detect differences in post and pre-retirement slopes according to other aspects of working conditions we found higher rates of self-reported illness for individuals involved in unsatisfying jobs or in work where demands exceed rewards. These differentials were robust to inclusion of information on socio-economic circumstances and appeared to persist beyond retirement. Our interpretation of the results is that disadvantage across the life course makes those in the least favourable circumstances or involved in physically demanding work less able to draw on social, economic and health reserves to cope with the demands of work in the final years of employment. As a result these groups of disadvantaged individuals experienced a slower increase in rates of illness after than before retirement when the demands of work are removed. Proposals to increase retirement age without also tackling inequalities in circumstances in the final years of employment are likely to increase inequalities in self-reported health.
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.
Against the backdrop of the general absence of social benefits (for the elderly) and growing nuclearization of families, we examine the changes in determinants of wage labor participation and supply of the elderly (60 years and above) over the last two decades in India. We use national level Employment-Unemployment Surveys (1993–94 and 2009–10) and Probit as well as Heckman sample selection models for the estimation. Findings show that the negative association between wage labor participation and the age of the elderly has weakened during the study period indicating that the extent of decrease in wage labor participation due to increase in age of the elderly has come down during 1993–2010. Findings also indicate that the elders from poorer and weaker sections have higher compulsion for labor participation in both rural and urban areas and more so in 2009–10. Further, we find that the elders from smaller households (with 4 or less members) are more likely to participate in wage labor in rural as well as urban areas. Moreover, we find that the elders from the poorer sections in rural areas are compelled to work for higher number of days in a week in comparison to the richer elders and this relationship has become stronger in 2009–10. The findings call for a universal pension scheme for improved welfare of the elderly population in India.
This paper attempts to elucidate the dynamics and inherent tensions of population aging as it relates to age-period-cohort changes in health status and health care utilization, and attainable system-level transformations. Using the Canadian context, we specifically address three interlocking problems: 1) the paradox of increasing life expectancy with compression of morbidity, concurrent with the rise in the prevalence of chronic illnesses and comorbidity; 2) the complex interactive relationship between baby boomer health status change and temporal improvements in health care efficiency; and 3) the disconnect between health care system efficiency and increasing demands, including patient expectations and end-of-life decision-making. These issues are investigated using interdisciplinary evidence, and applying a set of assumptions to scientific forecasting of modern health care system transformations over the next 20 years, the period in which population aging will peak. Two extreme scenarios positioned at opposite ends of a continuum are advanced that differ on the timing and extensiveness of policy reform versus system-level inertia.
This study examined relationships between and predictors of objective and subjective health measures among 766 individuals aged [greater than or equal to] 45 years in India using the 2010 pilot wave of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). Correlations between and gender differences in objective [grip strength, lung function] and subjective [self-rated health (SRH), dependence in activities of daily living (dADL)] health measures were examined. Multivariate logistic regression analyses, accounting for sample design, were conducted to identify predictors of poor health. Fewer individuals were classified as at risk according to subjective (SRH, 9 %; dADL, 12 %) than objective (lung function, 57 %; grip strength, 77 % women, 87 % men) indicators. Poor SRH was only weakly correlated with dADL (r=0.103, p[less than or equal to]0.05) and grip strength (r=-0.138, p[less than or equal to]0.001). From this study we conclude that older Indians tend to report more positive perception of health than the objective measures of health indicates, and that subjective and objective health indicators capture different aspects of health and only weakly correlated.
This study examined relationships between and predictors of objective and subjective health measures among 766 individuals aged ≥ 45 years in India using the 2010 pilot wave of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). Correlations between and gender differences in objective [grip strength, lung function] and subjective [self-rated health (SRH), dependence in activities of daily living (dADL)] health measures were examined. Multivariate logistic regression analyses, accounting for sample design, were conducted to identify predictors of poor health. Fewer individuals were classified as at risk according to subjective (SRH, 9 %; dADL, 12 %) than objective (lung function, 57 %; grip strength, 77 % women, 87 % men) indicators. Poor SRH was only weakly correlated with dADL (r = 0.103, p ≤ 0.05) and grip strength (r = −0.138, p ≤ 0.001). From this study we conclude that older Indians tend to report more positive perception of health than the objective measures of health indicates, and that subjective and objective health indicators capture different aspects of health and only weakly correlated.
This paper examines psycho-social distress among middle-aged and elderly Swedes. We analysed data on 3221 individuals who were 55 to 99 years old. Based on a latent class analysis, we identified four latent classes. Two classes were associated with higher levels of psycho-social problem accumulation. The class with the lowest level of problem accumulation contained the greatest number of individuals, whereas the classes with the highest level of psycho-social distress contained the least number of individuals. The analysis showed that being a man, being married, being a native Swede, or having several hobbies was associated with a low likelihood of belonging to a latent class that was characterised by psycho-social distress. Moreover, being a woman, being between 55 and 65 years of age, or being a widow was associated with a high likelihood of belonging to a latent class that was characterised by the highest levels of problem accumulation.
This paper examines the costs of two possible reforms to the Disability and Survivors Insurance in Chile. The first is to separate insurance rates not only by sex but also by age segment. Within this proposal, we determine the most appropriate age groups for differentiating insurance premiums based on this variable, and assess the advantages and disadvantages of charging the maximum rate to all contributors, capitalizing the difference between that rate and the age-differentiated premiums in the individual retirement account. The second proposal to be evaluated is to let the system cover only the economic risk of the inability to work from the date of a claim until normal retirement age (disability claim) or the inability to contribute to household income in the event of death.The analysis is based on data provided by the Chilean Office of the Undersecretary for Social Welfare. These data are the same as those used by the association of Chilean pension fund managers (AFPs) in the public bidding process for disability and survivors insurance of 2012.