Older Workers in an Ageing Society
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Older Workers in an Ageing Society

Critical Topics in Research and Policy

Edited by Philip Taylor

Prolonging working lives is high on the agenda of policy makers in most of the world’s major industrialized nations. This book explains how they are keen to tackle issues associated with the ageing of populations, namely the funding of pension systems and predictions concerning a dwindling labour supply. Yet the recent history of older workers has primarily been one of premature exit from the labour force in the form of redundancy or early retirement. Add to this a previously plentiful supply of younger labour and it is clear that much of industry will be unprepared for the challenges of ageing workforces.
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Chapter 11: Managing to work longer

Anthony Chiva


The factors driving decisions to work longer or leave early are complex. These factors affect people in different life situations in a variety of ways, which result in their staying in paid work or exiting in some form of transition to retirement. The factors can be extrinsic or intrinsic, or a combination of both. Bio-psychosocial (BPS) models (Borrel-Carrió et al., 2004) have been utilized to explain some of the dynamics impacting on the working and non-working decision. The models encapsulate three main determinants of functional ability and orientation to work: biological, psychological and social factors. It is the interplay of these three factors that largely determines the perceived work and health potential of the older worker. Biological factors include: physical, physiological phenomena that impact on status. Psychological factors include the cognitive, emotional and personality patterns that impact on status.

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