senior couple

More Australian Seniors Prefer to Work: How It Changes the Workplace

Anyone planning to renovate their office or building may have to work with a stair installation company or contractor besides an architect and an engineer. The face of the workforce is changing; more Australian seniors prefer staying on the job or get one after retirement.

Why Seniors are Still Working

Usually, people have a glossy picture of retirement: lots of travel, a home near the beach, visits with the grandchildren, or lazy days just reading books. The entrepreneurial ones may already be pursuing their passion or interests — the ones they forced to forget in lieu of a high-paying income.

In reality, many Australian seniors are not going anywhere. They remain in their jobs. If not, they go back to the workforce after months or years of retirement. In the 2017 data by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about 14% of the population is aged 65 and above. A year before, almost 13% of the men and women in this age group were engaged in some training or employment.

So far, no official studies or types of research can explain why they are still in the workforce, but one can assume the following:

1. Longevity

The life expectancy of Australians increased over the years as healthcare improved. In 2016, the average lifespan was 82.5 years old. Back then, senior Aussies lived longer than their counterparts in the UK or the United States. It means retirees would still have about 20 more years ahead of them if everything goes well. These are years that may require other forms of income besides pension.

The burden of increasing their wages or income is higher when they have a chronic illness. A longer life may also imply more years of medication and doctor’s visits with probable surgeries in between.

2. Cost of Living

Australia is a high-income country, but the cost of living is also steep. It is about the same as the cost of living in Singapore, one of the priciest city-states in the world. Housing is also not as affordable. When faced with the possibility of a long life, many seniors may have no other option than to augment their income to meet their expenses for the next 20 or more years.

3. Social Relationships

seniors playing

Some seniors may prefer going back to work not only to earn income but also to socialise. Old age may only cause social isolation, and this may increase the risks of feelings of loneliness and depression. Depression can be a risk factor for many health issues. These can include obesity, stress, anxiety, and heart disease.

The Mobility Challenge

Many seniors these days can still contribute to the country’s economy, but their presence in the workplace presents a mobility challenge. Older adults are more prone to accidents, such as trips and falls. In fact, these are among the leading causes of injuries for people who 65 years old and above.

These can also reduce their quality of life. They may result in replacement surgeries, reduced mobility, and chronic pain. Some seniors may even develop the fear of going out, which will only be counterproductive.

Workplaces, therefore, should be ready to cater to the health needs of seniors, and those include improving mobility. Designing stairs according to the country’s building standards, for example, is a great step to keep the home or office safe for them.

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