European Year for Active Ageing.
This celebration has been linked to encouraging Solidarity between Generations. What is the answer to an expanding older population depending on a decreasing younger generation?
Studies have been done to ascertain the perceptions of society towards ageing. It seems that 'old age' starts at 65 and those over 42 are 'no longer young'.
There is a general feeling that older people can play a crucial role in society and a third of this group say they would like to continue working beyond the normal retirement age. Most retire at 61 but feel they could work full time until 65. Many favour reducing hours accompanied by a partial pension.
A vital part of society is the contribution of older volunteers towards various types of charity work. Many grandparents now care for grandchildren and so add to the health of the economy.
On the other hand, an increasingly older population poses a threat to the welfare state and so the economy. These factors can lead to increasing resentment in the younger generation who have to provide the funding.
As therapists we can play a vital role in maintaining the health and independence of the ageing population, enabling them to play a positive role in society and so be part of the 'cement binding society together'.