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5/21/2007

Getting old or getting wiser

The age issue in employment is receiving more attention in a population that is growing with the baby boomers. This is the group of movers and shakers of the economy for the last 30 years and they refuse to go away. They are here to stay, like it or not. They will occupy all the seats of power and influence, and money of course, until they drop dead. Who says people should be retiring? Is there an issue with people working to their sunset years? Is 62 a reasonable age to retire? It all depends. It depends on the physical and mental health of the worker. It also depends on the nature of the job. In more physically demanding jobs, you cannot afford to risk the lives of workers who are physically challenged to continue what they doing when young. And in many jobs, the dexterity of the fingers and the nimbleness of the minds, as well as the pretty face of a sweet young thing make a world of a difference in getting the job done well. Can a straight jacket law be simply introduced to be applicable to all situations? What the law could look at is a real restructuring of jobs for the oldies instead of kicking the oldies aside. There are many jobs that are suitable for oldies that have been threatened because young boys and girls think that oldies should be confined to old folks homes. On the other hand younger and physically able people could be encouraged to take on more active jobs or jobs that require more mobility. There is no hard and fast rules when physical suitablity is concerned. But one thing of concern is the slow reaction and nearly blind uncles driving taxis. The physical checks must not just be confined to general health and the eyesight. The lost of attentiveness and slow reaction to a fast changing situation can be life threatening. We need job restructuring rather than stringent laws that are cast in stone. But don't send all the uncles and aunties to become table cleaners and dish washers, or road sweepers.

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