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Title: The Ageing Worker
Authors: Chan, G.C.T.
Koh, D.S.Q. 
Keywords: Functional capacity
Productive ageing
Work demands
Issue Date: Nov-1997
Citation: Chan, G.C.T.,Koh, D.S.Q. (1997-11). The Ageing Worker. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore 26 (6) : 781-786. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In Singapore, the age for retirement has increased from 55 years to 60 years, and will eventually reach 67 years. At the same time, the proportion of workers aged above 45 years will continue to increase. The World Health Organisation has reported that in 1980, 32% of the working population were older than 45 years of age in countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This proportion is expected to rise to 35.5% in the year 2000 and 41.3% in the year 2055. What are the implications of the emergence of an ageing workforce? This population represents a special group of individuals in the workforce that have special health, occupational and environmental needs. On the one hand, they have the problem of a reduction in physical work capacity, decreased adaptability, and a generally lower health status. On the other, ageing workers are more experienced and have greater expertise. They are also usually more motivated and may generally have a more positive attitude when compared with younger workers. Society, as well as health care professionals, needs to respond to this issue of an ageing workforce. The response should be three pronged. Firstly, prevention of the premature decline of physical capacities and adaptability of the worker could be addressed by health promotion and continuing job training. Secondly, some measures for adjusting work demands in accordance with functional capacities of the individual are needed. Thirdly, employers and fellow workers should be educated on the strengths of the ageing worker, and the capacity of such workers to continue contributing because of their experience, motivation and skills. If implemented, these measures would ensure a path towards productive ageing. The end results would be that ageing workers would have their functional capacity maintained, the concept of "age-adjusted workload" would be a reality, and ageing workers would not be discriminated against, but instead have their contributions to society maximised.
Source Title: Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
ISSN: 03044602
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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