Navigation Links
How Old Is Too Old to Work?
Date:4/10/2009

Economic woes add a twist to the age-old question,,

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Debate about the ideal age to retire has been going on for years. But with the U.S. economy in a dramatic slump, the flip side of that question -- how old is too old to work? -- has become uppermost in many people's minds.

As workers young and old fret about dwindling retirement accounts in the wake of the mortgage crisis and stock market tumbles, they joke that they'll have no choice but to work until they're 90 or beyond.

But many also wonder: Will I be able to?

Research has offered some reassurances. Researchers have learned that there is no ideal retirement age and that older adults who keep their thinking skills sharp by learning new things off the job can stay more competitive in the job market, too.

"In today's economy, it becomes more of a necessity than a luxury to keep working," said Dr. Joseph Sirven, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. The short answer to the question, "How old is too old to work?" is, Sirven said, "when you are not able to do the job."

But there's much you can do to prevent that from happening, he and other experts have found. "What we find now from research and a neurological perspective is [that] the secret to good aging is, you have to keep busy," Sirven said. "Sometimes that means exercise, physical activity. But it means a lot of mental and cognitive activity" also, he said.

Today, Sirven said, older adults frequently retire from one career and transition into another -- something that's matched to their skills and experience and takes into account any age-related disadvantages.

His advice for people who plan to work well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65: "Focus on what work can you do that you can keep up with as you age."

Take stock of your attributes and drawbacks: "You may not be the quickest or most agile," Sirven said, "but you could be the wisest or the most experienced, which also counts."

That wisdom might be doubly appreciated by co-workers, even younger ones, in our shaky economy, he said. Older workers, after all, have been through several recessions. "That stability of wisdom, of living through it [before], can be the most important of all," he said.

Joy L. Taylor, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, stressed that keeping skills sharp can make a difference in on-the-job performance. She studied 118 noncommercial pilots, age 40 to 69, to determine how age affects cognitive performance in the real world.

She did the study as the Federal Aviation Administration was proposing that the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots be raised from 60 to 65, which was later signed into law.

Though she did find that the older pilots, those 60 to 69 years of age, initially performed worse than the younger pilots, she also found that the older pilots showed less of a decrease in their overall flight summary scores. And over time, they improved more on their "traffic avoidance" performances than did the younger pilots.

The study was published in the journal Neurology, accompanied by an editorial co-authored by Sirven.

Now, Taylor and her team are studying whether extra training for pilots helps them overcome age-related changes in motor performance skills they need, such as flying in a holding pattern.

So, how to best ensure that you can work longer than average, if you have to or want to?

Try constantly to learn new skills, Sirven suggested. "Pick up a new language, learn a new instrument," he said. "Give yourself a push to try something new."

And Taylor had additional ideas. "Keep your work-related skills, exercise, and eat the best diet, a heart-healthy diet," she said. "Our emphasis is on physical health as well as cognitive health and stimulation -- both being equally important."

More information

To learn more about work-related issues for older Americans, visit AARP.



SOURCES: Joy L. Taylor, Ph.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Joseph Sirven, M.D., professor of neurology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Does Antibacterial Soap Work? At Least One Really Does.
2. Is sex work?
3. Double Your Income With Thai Yoga Bodywork?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
How Old Is Too Old to Work?
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about ... intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy ... especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Malvern, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best ... New York City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness Center ... to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up to ... together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at 7:00 ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy ... Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices in ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by sharing ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... wound care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other ... Treacherous Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences we get ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE ... team that developed an innovative way to use nonlinear ... the delivery of new drugs. ... Clinical Dermatology Conference will show how researchers from BioPharmX ... Harvard Medical School used a suite of imaging techniques ...
(Date:10/10/2017)...  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its ... specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... to support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product ... training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate ... cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the dated ... real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for a ... has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: