By David Pine
Posted: 6 March 2014
If you were to go back 60 years to 1954, and survey a group of children who were then aged 10, you would find that just 40% of them had all four grandparents still alive. If you surveyed a group of 10 year olds today, you would find that 80% of them have all 4 grandparents alive. According to Geoff Annals of Accuro Health, this had to be very positive for society as a whole, as the accumulated wisdom of older generations was being shared more and more with younger generations.
Speaking at Plimmerton Rotary on 4 March, Mr Annals noted that life expectancy generally continued to increase and there seemed to be no upper limit in sight. For example, for someone born in the year 2000, they could expect to live to age 76 if a male or 81 if a female, whereas for someone born this year, 2014, those ages were 80 and 88 respectively.
Mr Annals explained some interesting trends affecting people over age 60, many of whom were increasingly worried about their health. He called them “the worried well”. There was a major shift towards alternative medicines. Also, many over 60’s seemed to believe that whatever health issue they had would be fixed by their doctor prescribing something, and once that was done they could just get on with their lives.
The question those over 60 needed to ask themselves was: is it better to look after ourselves through (a) keeping active both mentally and physically (b) getting adequate sleep and (c) eating and drinking sensibly; or should we not worry about any of that stuff and just get the doctor to fix whatever ailments we have?
On older people in the work force, Mr Annals noted that despite popular myths to the contrary, those over 60 had fewer accidents and less illness that younger workers, were less likely to “throw a sickie”, and were not in the least doddery, unreliable or unhealthy. They tended to be more loyal and reliable than younger workers. The only negative was that it took older people longer to learn new procedures, but once they had done so, they were highly effective in the work place.
You can read the whole text of Geoff Annal’s presentation here. Living-well beyond 60 Geoff Annals
And you can read the document published by the EEO Trust in 2012 entitled ‘Older Workers Challenging Myths and Managing Realities here. 2012 EEO Trust - Older Workers Challenging Myths and Managing Realities