Monday, 25 April 2011

"Don't smoke, don't get fat - and don't retire!"

 A quote from Aubrey de Grey, the Cambridge scientist who is pioneering ideas of tissue repair strategies to rejuvenate the body and allow a long lifespan. This is quoted in an excellent article by Lois Rogers in this weeks Sunday Times. Unfortunately now I cannot give you a direct link because of the new online charging policies of the paper. Its called 'Life begins at 90'. It emphasizes that however old we are it is never too late to shape up physically and psychologically not just to live longer but to get so much more out of our lives.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Number of Over-65s in Work Doubles over Past Decade

There were 870,000 people over 65 in employment between October and December 2010, compared with 412,000 in January to March 2001
- now making up 3 per cent of the UK workforce.

Self-employment has become an increasingly popular option for older workers with 43 per cent of men and 25.5 per cent of women working past 65 now classified as self-employed.

One of the reasons for this, however, is likely to be age discrimination which makes it more difficult for older workers to get full or part time jobs.

Older workers also show strong loyalty to their employers with 83 per cent of those working past 65 staying with the same employer for the past five years and 41 per cent staying for over 20 years.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Generation Y think we quite cool!

A survey has revealed that young generation find people over 50s as 'friendly' and 'knowledgeable'.
Youngsters actually have a rosier impression of their elders than older people give them credit for.
While the over 50s typically think members of the iPhone generation see them as "past it", that is not the view held by most 18-to-24-year-olds.
A survey has found that today's young people think those of their parents' and grandparents' generations are friendly, knowledgeable and - for want of a more up-to-date expression - "with it".
"Around 67% of over 50s believe 18-to-24s perceive them as 'past it', but the reality is that just 18 % of 18-to-24s actually have that perception," the Telegraph quoted Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, which commissioned the poll, as saying.
"And while only 11% of over 50s think younger people perceive them as friendly, the reality is that around 29% of 18-to-24s do actually think older people are indeed friendly.
"Just 17% of over 50s think 18-to-24s consider them knowledgeable. However, the truth is that 42% of this age group perceive oldies as being great founts of knowledge," she added.
YouGov conducted the research for Saga, which interviewed 1,148 adults in February.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Generation Alzheimer's: The Defining Disease of the Baby Boomers

Yesterday I met a friend and his wife and she has just been diagnosed with Alzheimers. I was so impressed how they were both dealing with it and with listening to their plans to get the most out of life while she was still capable of doing so. I was especially interested therefore to get details of a new US report on this issue which is of course increasingly prevalent as we age and live much longer. Have a look.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Forced retirement ends today!

At long last you cannot be sacked just because you are 65.

Such a step has been needed for years, and can surely only be a positive move for the 900,000 people – and rising – who already work beyond age 65.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Age Unlimited Scotland

We always like to emphasis the opportunities for older people in setting up their own businesses. They tend to fail less often than those set up by the under 50's. Whether this be what G'ment sources rather patronisingly call 'lifestyle businesses' which usually involve one person pursuing an interest for profit or setting up a business with the potential for growth and employing others - the opportunities are there.

The Scottish operation explores ways to help people in their 50s and 60s to become social entrepreneurs. As such they can play a central role in the design and delivery of innovative new services, which improve their local communities. And they can continue playing an active role in society.
The NESTA funded agency supported 15 new ventures including Mamie Donald, who at 73 is a self-professed video games addict. Mamie spotted an opportunity to provide video gaming workshops for older people, introducing them to the benefits of IT and online social networks, thus reducing social isolation in the very old. Another older convert has just bought himself an iPad so that he can read the digital edition of his newspapers at 5am each day.
The programme takes a different approach to traditional enterprise support which focuses solely on the idea the would-be social entrepreneur puts forward and often uses off-putting business terminology. Instead, they develop the idea and the individual simultaneously through group workshops which offer personal development training as well as practical advice about how to make their idea a reality.
They give participants practical skills to challenge and improve the quality of their venture idea, to help make it feasible and sustainable. Through peer sessions with like-minded individuals the programme raises confidence and builds ambition levels, which in turn drives the idea forward.
This year they are introducing mentoring into the programme – training more established social entrepreneurs in mentoring techniques and then pairing them with the new 'older entrepreneurs'.

From the start of the programme they encourage ventures to think about commercial style business models rather than relying on public sector funding. This forces participants to think about long term sustainability early on.
Through Age Unlimited Scotland, NESTA has reached people who wouldn't see themselves as social entrepreneurs; many doubted their own abilities and wouldn't normally have put themselves forward for this opportunity – they are modest and just had "a bit of an idea". Participants describe the programme as a worthwhile but emotional journey, fast-paced and a huge learning curve. NESTA is learning a lot too. Supporting new older entrepreneurs is time intensive - start-up challenges can seem like huge barriers and many like ongoing reassurance that their idea is credible and a worthy investment of their time.