Old age, retirement and the social myth of reaching this age

From this process it could be said that the myth of the unproductive is born, when there are numerous examples of people between 60 and 75 years who are still linked to labor and contributing much, one way or another.

"We know the huge number of myths that circulate about aging. Just as we link youth with health, beauty, restlessness, desire and strength; we join old age to idleness, inactivity, poverty and disease. The time has come to definitively demolish these myths, "said the Specialists in General Medicine and in Gerontology and Geriatrics at the Center for Research on Longevity, Aging and Health (Cited); Alina González Moro and Lilliams Rodríguez Rivera, in their investigation "To demolish the myths in the third age. A challenge for medical ethics. "

The authors, of this text published on the website of the Cuban Network of Gerontology and Geriatrics, stated that "great myths and stereotypes circulate around people who arrive at age 60, although international figures say that more than 90 % of the members of the age group between 60 and 75 years do not present any type of disability "; stereotypes that are also present in the Cuban context.

As one of the aspects mentioned in this article, retirement appears, which in the opinion of the specialists "acts as a barrier of demarcation leaving out of this circle all those who at 55, 60 or 65 years - according to the various Legislations of each country - swell the ranks of the so-called "passive", forcing them to withdraw upon themselves, to forced restraint and thus somehow marginalized from society."

From this process it could be said that the myth of the unproductive is born, when there are numerous examples of people between 60 and 75 years who are still linked to labor and contributing much, one way or another. Several times, when we have tackled these issues, we have insisted on the fact that this age group can not be conceived as deprived, because it is not; It is not just a population that needs attention.

This idea is reinforced by the researcher of Cited, the Master Fermin Nivardo Vicente Gainza, with whom Granma spoke about retirement as "a further stage of working life", and the positive and negative aspects that revolve around this period.

In this regard, he insisted on the need to understand the importance of preparing for retirement, which implies an educational process of training and learning new habits and assimilation of knowledge, which are developed in the transition from worker to retiree.

"Since the end of the 19th century, in some countries the first regulations on retirement ages, initially set at around 70 years of age, have gradually been lowered as a result of technological development and social progress to Ages between 55 and 65 years of age, according to gender and labor policies of each country, "explained the specialist.

Defined as the cessation of active work performed for a given time, legally fixed, retirement - according to some theorists -, for its study, should be analyzed as a process divided into two stages: one before retirement, in which The workers analyze alternatives for making that decision, and a second stage when the role of retiree is assumed, said Dr. Vicente Gainza.

According to the interviewer, the "before" stage may be affected by institutional factors (work centers) and personal factors influencing aspects such as health, motivation, expectations for other activities, family influence, job dissatisfaction, and even The example of other colleagues and retirees, said the specialist.

He also said that the "after" stage can be divided into two phases: one known as Honeymoon, in which the retired person is to rest, sleep the morning, visit friendships among other activities, during his working life did not perform regularly. In the other phase, the retiree rejoins or seeks to carry out another activity, said the expert.

For the researcher, it is of great relevance for the health of the retired person, the fact that an alternative called Disenchantment-Reorientation may appear in this second phase, in which the retiree does not find satisfactory activities, it can lead to certain anxious or depressive disorders.

In that sense, he explained that among the main factors that affect the retiree's anxiety state are the loss of habitual occupation, reduction of income (wages), reduction of relations between friends and co-workers as well Such as relationships with fellow travelers to work or work at home. Changes in status within the family (home position) or in the community, change in roles (role within the family) and possible reductions in vital faculties such as hearing, vision, or gait disorders, among others.

Regarding the depressive state of the adult or older adult who retires, the interviewer mentioned among the fundamental elements that influence, psychic manifestations common to this feeling as the reduction of self-esteem, sadness, bad mood, insomnia or hypersomnia, pessimism or suicidal ideas. Among the most frequent physical manifestations, he cited loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue and constipation.

But for the specialist, it is essential to know that there are myths and prejudices in relation to retirement, which influence the perception of this new stage of life.

On one hand, he said, we have the myths that associate retirement with illness, withdrawal from social life, uselessness, consumerism, inactivity and even death. This, coupled with prejudices such as that retirees can not bring new ideas and are repetitive in which they have, slow in their thinking, dependent, or can not learn new knowledge.

Faced with these beliefs, it should be remembered that "the generalized stereotypes of discrimination of older adults by their age as persons who always have fragility, represent a burden and depend on care, have no empirical basis and limit the capacity of society to appreciate and unleashing the potential of social and human resources inherent in aging populations, "according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Report on Aging and Health, published in 2015.

So that this does not translate into negative aspects, before taking the decision to retire, the person must have a project of life and be prepared to assume the new role and status of retired, which in no point is necessarily that of isolation, explained the expert.

At the same time, he insisted on the many positive aspects of this stage, from the ample possibilities for interesting projects such as travel, to engage in other satisfactory and motivating activities, and to have more time for leisure.

In the article that we mentioned at the beginning the authors are clear to include as one of the challenges to face, to achieve equity and happiness of adults and older adults to "eliminate the subjective aspects that as part of the collective imagination make up A great number of misconceptions about aging and old age, which, as myths or only as prejudices, impair good aging and make difficult their proper insertion into society. These prejudices, sown in the mentality of the population, give rise to negative attitudes towards the process of aging ".

This does not escape retirement, which is in principle and the end, one of the ways in which society must repay the effort of a lifetime.

Source: Granma
Available at: http://www.granma.cu/todo-salud/2017-08-06/vejez-jubilacion-y-el-mito-social-de-llegar-a-esta-edad-06-08-2017-23-08-53