According to Cognitive Neuroscientist and Business Improvement Strategist, Dr Lynda Shaw, people approaching retirement should consider staying in employment longer in order to age more healthily.

In recent months the news has been plagued with stories surrounding an ageing population, and Shaw says that staying in work will make you healthier because it instils self-worth and value. She argues that possible depression and a sedentary lifestyle are two aspects that can be associated with retirement.

Dr Lynda Shaw says:

“Depression is enormously on the increase and so is stress and anxiety coming from loneliness, isolation and lack of self-worth post leaving employment.

“Many retirees I have talked with have said they don’t know how to fill their day, and feel older since quitting work.

“You can actually age more healthily by staying in work as long as your work is fulfilling and not drudgery. We know staying sharp on the job can help you stay mentally fit and healthy. Those who retire earlier often become sedentary sooner and develop health issues.”

Shaw also argues that not only do older employees feel the benefits of working through the retirement age, but employers profit from older workers who have accrued a wealth of knowledge and business and social experience over a long working period.

Dr Shaw suggests that older employees can mentor young people, which not only boosts their abilities but also generates communication and a stronger working relationship.

She comments:

“The trend that 70 is the new 50 in the workforce (as well as in lifestyle and health) has risen because of patterns that older workers seem to have stronger writing, grammar and spelling skills in English, and have a stronger professionalism/work ethic.”

Encouraging companies to consider the benefits of employing the older generation, Shaw says:

“We have this wonderful bank of talent in the older generation, why are we throwing it away in business? Let’s look at what is right with the ageing population and be grateful that we have longevity, rather than look at what is wrong! Companies need to embrace the work ethic and knowledge of the over 60’s.”

Shaw concludes:

“In business there is a genuine problem with the loss of older boomer workers but only a small percentage of organizations are addressing the issue and implementing specific policies and management practices in anticipation of this potential ‘talent’ loss.”