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Baby boomers urged to work

13 December 2016 08:30

Jean Bulmer from Wales prepares French fries at McDonald's

Jean Bulmer from Wales prepares French fries at McDonald's

Are you aged between 50 and 70?

Staying in employment or volunteering can bring both physical and mental health benefits, according to the chief medical officer for England.

Prof Dame Sally Davies urged the so-called baby boomers, those born in the wake of World War 2 between 1946 and 1964, to stay in work where possible.

Baby boomer benefits

She said the benefits it can offer "should not be underestimated" and can help people feel less isolated.

Statistics show that 18% of baby boomers have depression or an anxiety disorder, while a separate recent study highlighted the plight of loneliness among older people. Age UK revealed nearly a million (982,200) people aged 60 and above feel lonelier at Christmas time.

Work or volunteering is a good place to meet people and perhaps feel less lonely.

Current figures show that over 75% of people aged between 50 and pension age remain in active employment. But projections suggest that 1 in 3 UK employees will be over 50 by 2020.

Take on new challenges

Prof Davies says that with people living longer lives, retirement provides an opportunity to "take on new challenges".

Of course if people are in work then they have more money, some of which could perhaps be used to book a holiday with friends and family - specialist seniors travel insurance is available.

The days of retirement being shorthand for people being put out to pasture are long gone. "It is certainly not the start of a slower pace of life as it once was," says Prof Davies.

"Staying in work, volunteering or joining a community group can make sure people stay physically and mentally active for longer.

"The health benefits of this should not be underestimated."