Aging Successfully: Senior citizens in the work place

  • Wednesday, August 25, 2021 9:45am
  • Opinion
Crystal Linn

An article in the Next Generation Personal Finances blog stated that as of February 2019, about 20 percent of senior citizens were either working or looking for work.

The reasons seniors continue working, or return to work after retirement are countless. Making more money is only one of those reasons. The long list includes improved mental health, staying physically fit and engaging socially, as well as contributing to society. A friend recently shared how it is not wise to be alone with one’s thoughts for hours on end.

An article I read while researching this column discussed a 90-year-old woman who was doing an internship while working towards a college degree.

It continues to amaze me how much COVID has permeated every area of our society, especially the work force. Years before the pandemic struck many employed seniors faced age discrimination as employers sought younger employees whom had updated skill sets, who could work for more years, and whom might accept less upfront pay.

According to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), 64 percent of senior citizens have either witness or personally experienced age discrimination. Many legal battles were fought over this.

Another issue was — and may still be — qualification discrimination. Often seniors were refused employment due to being over-qualified for the position they were seeking, even though these citizens were willing and able to work.

COVID totally changed these situations. Between the virus and the stimulus checks many businesses have been forced to close their doors due to lack of employees. No one seems willing to work. In areas of the country where COVID-19 is under control, senior citizens gladly go to work.

Younger employers are discovering how valuable these more mature employees truly are. Senior employees are more stable in their own lives, they have a stronger work ethic and have a greater understand of team work. They have broader skill sets and are willing to mentor younger employees.

Unfortunately there is another side to this situation. In areas where COVID is still of significant concern, many seniors are fearful to return to work at this time, feeling it may not yet be safe. As a result, they risk being terminated from their jobs. More legal battles are being fought.

It is my opinion that we should applaud and support these people who seek to rejoin the work force.

Seniors have already worked hard for decades and have earned the right to lay around and enjoy life.

Instead of doing so these conscientious citizens are actively improving their own lives and the lives of those in their work environment as well as contributing to our society and economy.

Write and share your thoughts with us at information@crystallinn.com. I personally reply to every email.

Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, Crystal enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family. See crystallinn.com.

More in Opinion

tsr
Being Frank: Salmon recovery will take more than money

There’s no doubt about it. The Biden administration is working hard to… Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions?

January is usually the month that begins with effusive pledges, generally known… Continue reading

Bertha Cooper
Think About It: Looking on the bright side

The best part of this new year or that which we are… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Guest Opinion: Time to replace state’s long term care law

The first order of business when Washington state’s Legislature convenes in Olympia… Continue reading

Linda B. Myers
From the Back Nine: Survival plan

Some people face the future with joy. Others — like me —… Continue reading

Don Brunell
Guest Opinion: Pumped storage electricity can benefit everyone

Increasing river flows to wash young salmon to sea works; however, once… Continue reading

Kris Johnson is president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturers association.
Guest Opinion: State should seize opportunity to champion the economy

After two years of COVID-19, many Washington state families and small businesses… Continue reading

Bertha Cooper
Think About It: What will the chickens do?

I bet you didn’t have a morning coffee conversation with your partner… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Guest opinion: Memories from Christmas past inspirational for future Christmases

’Tis the season when we take stock of our lives and wonder… Continue reading

Guest opinion: Holiday season brings emphasis on DUI patrols

This holiday season, law enforcement across Washington state will be proactively checking… Continue reading

Guest opinion: The rise of the un-retired

The un-retired are those who are retiring from retirement. They are those… Continue reading

x
Aging Successfully: New Year’s and anniversaries

As we look forward to the rapidly approaching new year, I invite… Continue reading