Age is just a number when it comes to retirement

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An Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland report shows an increased number of Scots are working past retirement with over 9000 men and women aged between 65-74 clocking up over 49 hours per week.

The analysis carried out by Stirling University also showed older people are at risk of isolation with two-thirds of older Scots living alone and potentially cut off from society due to health problems or a lack of public transport.

The issue of unpaid care was another notable finding of the report.

Around 11 per cent of people over 65 were shown to undertake unpaid care with around half contributing over 50 hours per week.

wo-thirds of these older carers with the poorest health provide over 50 hours per week.

Alastair Pringle, EHRC Scotland director, said: “The over-60s are the fastest-growing group in society.

‘‘There are more pensioners than ever before.

‘‘This has exposed a number of issues around getting older in Scotland which are new to us.

‘‘Ageing is not an illness but it can be challenging and we at the EHRC want to do all we can to reduce inequality to harness the talents of all Scottish people regardless of age, gender, race or any other protected characteristic.

“There are a number of interesting findings in the report, particularly showing how more Scottish pensioners are working past retirement age.

‘‘For many, working past retirement is an active choice with people wanting to continue to contribute to their communities.

“However given the concentration of older people working in low paid occupations like cleaning and security and the associated long hours, it is likely that for some working past retirement is a means to alleviate poverty and increase income.

“Equal opportunities are vital at every stage in life. No-one should be denied their right to play a full and functioning role in society because of their age.

‘‘The Commission hopes that this report can provide a valuable snapshot of some of the challenges facing older Scots but also some of the opportunities.

‘‘Older people in Scotland have a huge amount to offer.”