It is not news that our population is getting older. The statistics can sound a bit frightening: by 2030, about a quarter of our population is expected to fall into the “senior” category. But what are the implications of this from a health care perspective?
Seniors and their caregivers will need help navigating our complex health care system. There are many government-sponsored health care resources offered to the elderly, but it is not always easy to figure out what they are, how to access them, and which of those resources would be most helpful to each individual’s unique situation. It is important for employers to simplify this process by offering clear and accessible information and also by helping to fill the gaps where the system is lacking in support or clear information.
As the population ages, a higher burden will be placed on those who are providing care for the elderly. Oftentimes, these are younger people who will have to take care of their aging family members—potentially their own parents—and balance that with their jobs. This will place unique demands on employers of caregivers. An awareness of this up-and-coming trend will be necessary for employers to identify workplace practices that will enable caregivers to support their family members while still being productive in the labour market.
On the other hand, many seniors will want to remain active in the workforce. In fact, between 2000 and 2013, the rate of active employment of seniors has doubled. While there are many benefits to staying professionally active beyond retirement age, the reality is that this aging workforce will have more complex health issues. This can certainly impact productivity but employers can help seniors stay engaged in the workforce by accommodating their healthcare needs in the workplace, such as by meeting mobility and accessibility requirements.
Ultimately, being cognizant and proactive about these upcoming major hurdles due to our aging population will help employers and their employees be more productive and maximize their potential in the workforce.
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