Work Keeps Depression at Bay for the Elderly

      December 17, 2019 13:18

      Elderly people who work are at less risk of depression than those who do not, a study suggests.

      Prof. Han Ji-na at Silla University studied the correlation between depression and work among the elderly and found that those with jobs were 1.5 times less likely to suffer from depression than those without. And if they enjoyed their job, the positive effect on their mental health almost doubled again.

      Han studied 10,451 people over 65.

      Elderly people with jobs are physically more active, experience more social interactions and, of course, have more money to spend, all of which is good for mental health.

      A positive attitude to work leads to better relationships with coworkers and better performance at work.

      "Many people think that elderly people only work when they're poor, and many still feel sorry for them," Han said. "Instead we should encourage them to engage in economic activities, which are good for their health."

      "Productive aging," as the jargon calls it, has been supported by studies in several countries. "Productive aging not only includes working but also volunteering and other economic activities," said Prof. Lee Yun-hwan at Ajou University. "The more the elderly engage in work or other social activities, the more they feel fulfilled and think positively as they believe they contribute more to society."

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