Working In Old Age

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Working In Old Age
Working In Old Age

Video: Working In Old Age

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Video: Want to work in aged care? Watch this! 2023, January
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Working in old age

Every job requires certain knowledge and skills. However, one criterion is important for every job: health! Experts emphasize: If we have been working all our lives, age-appropriate jobs are necessary. The management of the company is responsible for the design of “healthy” workplaces. Workplace health promotion provides proven instruments and methods for this. Employees can also do a lot themselves to stay healthy in their professional lives. Last but not least, the physical and mental health of the workforce is an important prerequisite for the success of a company.

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Companies live from the diversity of their employees, from their different qualifications, experiences and ideas, from a productive coexistence of old and young. Many older professionals gain recognition, self-affirmation and success from their work.

The working population is aging. According to Statistics Austria, the proportion of 50 to 64-year-olds of working age (15 to 64 years) will increase from around 30 percent in 2014 to 33.4 percent in 2025. People also stay in employment longer. That is why age-appropriate work and health-promoting jobs are more in demand than ever.

Every age has its strengths

Everyone has special potentials and abilities at a certain age. Older employees are not as physically capable as younger ones in some respects, but they have valuable technical know-how and social skills based on their life experience. People of advanced age learn more slowly than younger people, but they efficiently combine existing knowledge with new knowledge. Older people can often solve difficult tasks faster because they have often learned to think in a networked manner and can intuitively fall back on helpful experiences. A well-functioning company needs a mixture of young and old = " - and working conditions that take this into account.

Age-appropriate work: what is it?

The aim of age-appropriate work is to maintain and promote health potential and the ability to work for the entire duration of employment. Work is age-appropriate if it can be carried out from the beginning of employment up to retirement age without harming physical, mental and social health. Age-appropriate work also helps increase the number of years of life spent in good health.

The entire workforce benefits in the long term from health-promoting and age-appropriate working conditions. The diversity of the job, the preservation of room for maneuver, learning and further education, information and participation, team spirit, reduction of negative stress, free time management play an essential role. The reduction of workloads such as noise, poor sitting posture, frequent carrying of heavy loads etc. also contributes to age-appropriate work.

Workplace health promotion and age-appropriate work

Workplace health promotion (WHP) is a modern corporate strategy with the aim of strengthening health and improving people's wellbeing in their workplace and maintaining it in the long term. This is to prevent illnesses in the workplace. Health promotion is not primarily about reducing stress, but above all about promoting the resources and potential of people to increase and maintain health.

WHP experts understand resources as personal, social and structural means in order to be able to cope with challenges, demands and loads. Resources include health knowledge, health literacy, resilience, but also scope for decision-making, recognition or appreciation. For companies, this means enabling employees to develop skills and scope, for example through appropriate work organization, working hours or further training.

The difference in employment relationships and employees requires tailor-made offers. If the measures are based on the real needs of the target groups, it is more likely that they will be successful. For this purpose, BGF uses proven methods of organizational development. For example, age-appropriate work design includes a package of measures, especially in the areas of management, further training, work organization and health.

What can companies do to keep older employees healthy at work?

The management of a company can use different tools and instruments to design workplaces that are age-appropriate:

  • This is how management becomes “demographically fit”: The implementation of an age structure analysis provides management with valuable basic information on the age distribution in the company.. Managers have a decisive influence on the ability to work, especially of older employees. Therefore, the strategic management should have an overview of the future age structure and the desired age mix in the company. The operational managers need basic knowledge of age-appropriate work design for their specific area, especially on the following questions:

    • Which activities are age-critical?
    • How do people change physically, mentally, mentally and socially?
    • How do older people best learn?
    • How can management take account of the growing individual differences among older people?
  • The job evaluation, in particular results from the areas of ergonomics and work psychology, provides information about possible stresses. Measures for health protection can be derived from this.
  • By appreciative management individual strengths are promoted. Appreciation and recognition in the job are seen as essential motivators in the team or in the entire workforce.
  • Through workplace health promotion that is oriented towards the needs and resources of aging workers, for example.

What can I do myself to stay healthy at work?

Self-observation ability: Individual differences grow as you get older. It would therefore be important to talk to the supervisor about the individual age-appropriate work design. This is particularly effective if I have good self-observation skills, e.g. on the following questions:

  • Which work tasks encourage me and which are increasingly overwhelming?
  • In which areas can and do I want to develop further?
  • What experience can I pass on?

Staying healthy at work: Small steps often have a big impact in the long run. Here you will find further suggestions on how you can organize your professional life in a way that is appropriate to your age:

  • Avoid stress, pay attention to balance.
  • Professional time out brings new energies.
  • Comply with the provisions of occupational safety.
  • Prevent occupational diseases and accidents at work.
  • Ergonomic workplaces prevent overload.
  • Regular exercise promotes health.
  • The exercise recommendations provide clues.
  • A balanced diet maintains performance and health.
  • Stress and burnout are bad for your health.
  • Smoking is an avoidable health risk. Many companies support non-smoking in the workplace.

Additional Information:

  • Work & Age (Federation of Industrialists, Chamber of Labor, ÖGB, WKO, Innovatives Betriebliches Gesundheitsmanagement GmbH)
  • Age-appropriate work (AUVA)
  • Eval.at (AUVA, WKO, Chamber of Labor, Federation of Industrialists)
  • Fit2work.at (Ministry of Social Affairs Service)
  • Health in old age (Institute for Health Promotion and Prevention GmbH)

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