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Active and Healthy Ageing at Work—A Qualitative Study with Employees 55 - 63 Years and Their Managers

DOI: 10.4236/jss.2017.57002, PP. 13-29

Keywords: Older Worker, Employees, Managers, Age, Retirement, Work, Occupational Health, Public Health

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Abstract:

The proportion of elderly individuals in the population is increasing in most industrial countries. This demographic change increases the need of more people who work until an older age to maintain the welfare in the states. However, it is not clear if older employees are interested to in generally extend the working life to an older age. It is also not stated if managers in organizations are interested of extending their older employees working life. The overall aim of this study was to examine older employees own experience of their work situation and ageing at work. The aim was also to investigate their managers’ attitude to them as older employees. The investigation was conducted by focusing group interviews with employees aged 55 - 63 years, and with their mangers aged 40 - 63 years. The findings stated that the older employees’ consideration for an extend working life seemed to be based on their health and health problems in relation to their work situation; their personal economy; their managers attitude to them as elderly and the possibility to social inclusion at work; and their possibilities for self-crediting activities at work despite their age. The managers seem to have a positive attitude to some of the older employees’ experience knowledge, if that was in the same direction as their own interest. Otherwise the mangers saw the older employees as problem and obsoleted. The managers were also negative to older employees who got health problems which effect the work production negatively. The older workers in this study described managers’ importance to if they want to work in an extended working life. However, the managers seem not to understand their own importance in this and were not interested to keep all elderly in an extended working life.

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