The Importance of Employment and Other...

Escrito por:  Maria

Earning a living increases possibility of financial independence and other benefits.

We frame this around the notion of aging well or healthy aging. Aging well is taking care of your mind and body as you ger older to optimize your chances for a happy and healthy life. We would like to take not only a short-term view but also a long-term view of these benefits.

Employment provides opportunities for social interaction and building social networks. Social engagement has been linked to better cognitive function, emotional well-being and overall health in older adults.

Thus I want to highlight 3 areas around which employment can promote aging well:

  1. Social Benefits: Community Engagement including being employed provides opportunities for social interaction building social networks and acquiring skills that contribute to aging well. This social engagement in turn has been linked to better cognitive function. Emotional well-being and overall health in older adults.
  1. Cognitive Benefits to employment that are part of aging well. In aging research there is the concept of Cognitive Reserve which is the ability to maintain cognitive function despite age related changes in brain structures and function. Employment often involves continuous learning and skill development which can enhance cognitive function and promote Cognitive Reserve. More to the point lifelong learning as is experienced on the job and in other community settings has been associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and a higher likelihood of aging well.
  2. Mental Health: Employment provides individuals an opportunity to develop a sense of purpose accomplishment and self-worth.

Vocational engagement and being productive contributes to a positive self-image and higher self-esteem positively impacting mental well-being.

Interacting with coworkers, supervisors, and customers fosters social connections and sense of belonging. This interaction can combat isolation and loneliness (risk factors for poor mental health).

Finally, paid employment can increase financial stability which can in turn reduce stress and anxiety related to financial concerns.