Published On: Mon, Sep 5th, 2016

Living And Working Longer – Can Healthcare Keep Up?

Most of us know that the retirement age is going up and up. And pension funds are not currently growing as quickly as we expected. This means we have to work for longer to be able to afford to live in retirement. But will our bodies cope with the extra stress and pressure of working life as we enter our seventies?

Construction Worker

Men, in particular, are at a much higher risk of developing prostate cancer the older they get. As our lifestyles and health care keep us alive for longer, does this mean we are more prone to the devastating effects of serious illnesses? There are new treatments and technologies being developed, including those mentioned at http://prostatecancerdr.com/high-intensity-focused-ultrasound/. But how will our working lives be affected?

Mental decline is becoming better documented as more of us live long enough to suffer from it. The article at https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=100 shows us why Dementia and Alzheimer’s are very difficult conditions to live with. They are usually most common in those over the age of seventy. But if we’re working until we’re into our seventies, how will this affect our mental health and ability to cope with our jobs? Without a medical breakthrough in this area, it seems a little uncertain.

As well as age-related cancers and mental health problems, there is the effect of aging on the body to consider. Bones can become more brittle, and muscle strength tends to decline later in life. This can affect balance, and leave us more prone to falls, strains, and breaks. Physical jobs that are no bother in our thirties may simply be impossible after the age of sixty. For those expecting to work to seventy, it would seem necessary to change career or job before retirement. There may be vitamin and mineral supplements and physiotherapies to help us as we age.

As we age, the eyesight and hearing become less acute. This may only affect a few career choices. Hearing aids and corrective eyewear can help a lot here. However, the additional cost for these could soon add up as we need more accurate vision and hearing. Screens are smaller, and workplaces are more open-plan. This could prove problematic for those that are aging.

As we age, our immune systems also weaken. This can leave us more prone to colds, coughs, and flu. Current vaccinations and immunizations may not be enough to keep people well and at work as they age. Some people will struggle into work as they need the money. This could then spread the illnesses to other workers. It can also take older people much longer to recover from common illnesses than a younger person would.

The term ‘working to death’ may soon have quite a significant meaning for those with a later retirement age. Will working longer cause the health problems that create the biggest worries? Or will the health problems simply prevent older workers from doing the job in the first place? It seems that advances in health care can and will keep us alive for longer. Only time will tell if we’re fit enough to work.