RUNNING HEAD: ACTIVE AGING 1
Active Aging: A Personal Essay
ACTIVE AGING, 2
Often times, I have realized that senior citizens are described in terms of their pathology, such as being a social problem or requiring adjustments. Despite this common place perception, and the fact that the population of senior citizens is on the increase I have noted substantial efforts in evaluation the inherent potential of older adults. The idea of active aging is increasingly being discussed and publicized due its focus on the positive attributes of senior citizens. It is no longer news that the baby boomers of the 1960s are growing older making the aging population highly relevant to current socioeconomic and political issues. As a result, governments in general, and the US in particular has instituted federal requirements and regulations that encourage active aging and prohibit any form of discrimination against senior citizens.
I have found it common place for society to treat senior citizens as all being the same, having similar needs or skills sets. This is especially true for the employment sector, where employers have failed to take advantage of the skilled labor force available from this population. Often, employers perceive older adults as fitting into one profile, not realizing that similar to the rest of the population, each senior citizen is unique, has unique skills as well as capabilities and needs. When this is taken into account, it means that some employers have been able to carefully select older workers to fill specific positions within the organization. I myself have had the privilege to work in various organizations during my senior years and had the opportunity to positively contribute to the wellbeing of society. Individuals aged above 50 years old are still running large companies in senior management positions while others are still able to work in labor intensive industries such as manufacturing and agriculture.
According to Cree (1999), organizations that employ older adults report that they actually make good, if not better employees. More than 90% of employers, including the McDonald’s ACTIVE AGING 3 Corporation has reported that older adults make thorough and reliable employees. Other advantages of hiring older adults include: the fact that they have lower turnover levels compared the younger population, are more flexible and ready to change, have updated skills and extensive experience, and are ready to learn new tasks. In addition, at my age I feel that I make a better worker due to my willingness to undertake challenging responsibilities and tasks, and less likelihood of being absent from work due to family related problems. I also believe that being an older adult, I am more likely to be committed to my organization compared to younger workers, while the costs of training are similar to those of a younger generation.
Nevertheless, despite the increasingly recognized opportunities and advantages to employing an older adult, I must acknowledge that there is a gap with regards to the use of technology in this population. While I try to keep up-to-date with current technological developments, the rate at which new innovations are entering the market might at times make it difficult for persons my age to keep up. A high percentage of older adults have the tendency to be fearful of new technology compared to younger workers. This means that they are less likely to use them especially at the workplace which may make them ineffective in their work.
However, it is important to note that...
References: Cree, R. (1999). Grey matters. Business and Management Practices, 34, 44-47.
Nielson, Jakob (5/29/2013). Seniors as Web Users. Retrieved from: www.nngroup.com
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