Sunday, July 5, 2015

Senior Workforce: A Valuable Asset for Society

Age equates to incapacitation and incapability in many minds.

In fact, it's a News Story when someone who's in their 80's or 90's appears to be physically fit and capable and/or mentally fit and capable. 

This morning a young man in his mid 20's was featured on a news story because he'd had a stroke. Interesting because society generally doesn't see physical challenges as belonging in that age sector.

Actually, if you do a little research, you'll find there are many serious diseases that can and do affect individuals at very young ages including cancer, heart disease, liver and kidney ailments, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and others.

The reality is health issues can strike any age, any time in life.

The picture painted of growing old is loss and incapacity. 

The challenge is why, where and when in the "aging cycle" (which we all grow through from birth onwards) society begins to paint this picture and with what amount of emphasis society puts on those specific challenges.

Then, there's the Language Factor.  

In a rapidly changing world we've also reinvented or redesigned language. 

Terms that were once limited to a Doctoral Thesis on Business and Economics are becoming common everyday terms used in all types of businesses.

Those who are moving ahead on the ladder of time past the forty and even the fifty something mark are running as fast as the twenty somethings to assimilate the language and apply it correctly.  

Unlearning, relearning and erasing non applicable, non "now" phrases and expressions along with assimilating as quickly as possible the new professional acronyms and explanations.

So why don't companies value the input of the older generation?  Why do they often see 54 or 64 as a "cut off"?

Do they fear their ability to analyze and discern? 

Millennials I've met rate high on the scale of using this same level of consideration. Just ask them where they want to work and where they don't, you'll be surprised how many opt out of the large corporate sector seeing it as demoralizing and demeaning of humanity in general. 

Shouldn't be news to anyone. Read the websites and see how corporations work to generate a picture of consideration, compassion and concern. Some deserve it while others are simply giving "lip service" to attract the employees they want.

Are Seniors only prospects as consumers for hearing aids and walking aids?  Or maybe Term Life Insurance?

Time to look around and see the realities. 

Seniors are concerned and rightfully so about their income lasting through a lifetime that may stretch into the 80's and 90's but if we value their contributions and keep them gainfully employed those worries would not be so great for the individual or society.

There are positions they could do including work from home.
It can be a  lack of tools and abilities due to not being considered "teachable" or "worth the investment" -- as I see it -- that holds them back and keeps them out.

The age groups of 18-25 and those of 55+ are truly in the same employment "boat" -- the younger ones are trying to board the vessel and the older ones are trying to stay onboard.

Seniors can be very dedicated, could work hours others don't want (due to their internal clocks waking them earlier and earlier --see studies on this fact) and have a sense of dedication to a job not seen in younger generations who are looking for the next, the better, the more important position.

What a waste. Believing the years past 60 are just for retirement.

Or, believing the value of an older woman is to be a babysitter for the grandchildren and an older man to be someone who shows the grandchildren how to "do things".

Maybe for generations past where skillsets were not as varied and lives of women weren't in the workplace. 

These were the continuations of a lifestyle where women were in the home and men in the workplace -- many in jobs involving using their hands and creating or repairing.

Oh, and of course, Volunteering and Charity work are acceptable but not necessarily the paid positions in organizations.

We've passed legislation extending tolerance legally in many areas including most recently marriage. 

Time to work on Ageism and remove it from the list of "ism's".

The value of a person doesn't being or end according to a calendar. 

IF we value human life, we value all ages and we respect individual rights.

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