To live is to change

Sep 09 2006 by Janet Howd Print This Article

"Change behaviour to break the Motivational Code," suggests Jerry Pounds. And certainly huge organisational and societal change is going to be necessary to cope with the new legislation banning ageism in the work place which comes into force in the UK on 1st October.

Average life expectancy was 65 in 1948 when the first state pensions were awarded to men, and that new financial benefit coincided with the first beneficial doses of penicillin rolling off production lines.

Advances in health care continued apace during the intervening years, so much so that 65 year olds in the UK today can expect to experience a further quarter century of active, healthy living.

Advances in cultural attitudes in the intervening years, however, lagged way behind their medicinal counterparts and the belief that older minds stagnate and older muscles atrophy at the same rate as they did sixty years ago is still wide spread.

Recent surveys suggest that people over sixty are themselves are pushing back against society's reactionary stance. Results from the US indicate that baby boomers show a strong preference for continuing to be involved in the world of work rather than sidelined from it and see no economic or social sense in laying waste to their own human capital by allowing futility to breed imbecility.

If even a quarter of the energy and finance spent on raising the sagging epidermis of people in their later years was put into raising their sagging confidence, the value they could add to Society as a whole would far outweigh any conceivable disadvantage.

We should get on and make those changes.