I will tell you now, that when you read this paper you will learn the secret of health for both the mind and body. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the discussions I had with the guest seniors and speakers, and relate this experience to the material learned throughout the course. In this paper I will begin by discussing age discrimination in the workplace, then I will examine the traits and definition of successful aging, and finally I will talk about the quality of life after retirement. In life, we encounter several obstacles, how we face this adversity is up to us, thus the quality of life in our later years is ultimately in the palm of our hands. Whether we choose to live a healthy or sedentary lifestyle, it will determine the state of our mind, and therefore quality of life. Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Unfortunately, age discrimination is a reality in today’s world. Generally, when we think of ageism, we picture older workers experiencing trouble finding a job or being treated as incompetent in the workplace (Novak & Campbell, 2010, p. 215). When I spoke to Jean Jewell, an assistant oral surgeon, she however said she did not experience any age discrimination in her workplace. In fact, she became really close friends with the surgeon. Jean felt it was time for retirement once the office replaced all their equipment with new technology, “the technology was just way too advanced, and that’s when I realized it’s probably time for me to retire at 69. Plus, I don’t want to work for too long and deprive the young from this wonderful job opportunity,” (Jewell 2011). Jean has been married for an incredible 54 years to her husband Peter, who did however encounter slight age discrimination at his workplace. Peter worked for over half a century, the majority as a manager at General Motors. “I was kind of forced into retirement, but I didn’t retire until I received that package,” Peter joked. “The company found a young college graduate to replace my position at a lower salary,” added Peter (Jewell 2011). Peter made me realize that many older people are fired or forced to retire because they have been with a particular company for so long. In their place, younger adults are hired 2
because they will do the same job for half the pay. Personally, I feel that this is discriminating because many older people may have to retire at a later age due to their financial situation. Forced retirement can cause a lower standard of living and contribute to poverty (Novak & Campbell,
216). My grandfather also experienced age discrimination at his workplace, “they called me ‘Sam the Slowpoke,’” he sighed, “those three words made my day miserable. I didn’t want to say anything to my manager because I thought everyone would hate me, so I just kept quiet,” agonized my grandfather. He worked at a window manufacturer for 38 years after he was forced to retire. Five years before he was laid off, he devised a system so workers in his department did not have to bend up and down very much throughout the day. Through these three incredible seniors, I learned that older employees have an immense amount of knowledge and experience, which can be lost to a business or organization if they force them to retire. My father currently owns and operates a marketing business, and one day he wishes for me to take over when he retires. When I do manage my family business, I will not allow any discrimination towards older employees or force retirement onto workers. I feel that if you force someone to retire at 60 or 65, it indicates that society does not value the input of these incredible and knowledgeable people, and it creates an image of older workers as incompetent and unable to contribute to society (Novak & Campbell, 2010, p. 216). Traits and Definition of Successful Aging
Research has proven that from about the age of 30, physical and mental abilities inevitably begin to decline. However, the good news, according to Dr. John Rowe and...
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