In contrast to the longstanding stereotype of later life as a time of retirement from paid work to fade into a non-productive stage of life, elders in all societies continue to make an ongoing contribution. In the 21st century it is increasingly important to recognise age as an asset and to understand that through productive ageing, elders can maintain social roles and generate societal benefits. Students will explore three levels of productive ageing: individual (e.g. lifelong learning), interpersonal (social / family participation) and societal (paid / volunteer work, civic engagement). In this topic students will also develop skills to work in partnership with older people and learn how to apply knowledge and skills to promote older adults' capabilities, potential, social and economic contributions.
This topic aims to challenge the myths about successful ageing and productivity in later life and identify ways in which opportunities for older people to engage in productive activity across individual, interpersonal and societal levels. In doing so, students will develop skills in supporting older people to continue in lifelong roles as well as take on new roles and activities that generate positive outcomes for themselves, their families and social networks, for the communities in which they live and broader society.