Laurea Master’s student Paula Hoppu’s thesis is entitled ‘Re-designing Your Future in the Third Age of the Lifespan’
Longevity changes everything. Older adults in an aging society are untapped dividends that need purpose. The third age in the life span provides limitless possibilities for individuals to re-imagine their futures when they are well prepared to capitalise on their capabilities. Older adults are an increasing natural resource which needs to be utilised in a way which allows them to give back to society. When third agers are encouraged to find a renewed purpose by using their knowledge, skills and experience they increase generativity and improve life for future generations.
The study highlights the attributes required to empower people to act and re-design their future. Additionally, the study investigates the usefulness of retirement coaching education. Furthermore, it examines if it enhances an individual’s ability to generate new ways to achieve personal fulfilment. Finally the report offers ways in which to promote and develop the concept of the third age. The experiences and perceptions of eight (8) British third agers and four (4) Finnish retired professionals were recorded via semi-structured interviews. The data was analysed by using thematic analysis.
A qualitative interview identified from the experiences of those interviewed, five (5) main characteristics which enables a person to be well-prepared for the third age in the lifespan. They include technology as a tool of empowerment, adaptability to change, intrapersonal skills to develop self and relationships, lifelong learning as part of self-development and commitment to building community spirit.
Findings obtained from qualitative interviews with the Finnish informants fully supported the outcomes which came to light from the responses of the British informants. The study also revealed that while the Finnish informants as higher education professionals were well-prepared for their third age stage in life, they all benefitted from participating in retirement coaching education.
The interviews with the third agers concluded that initiatives to raise awareness and to promote the third age better need to be addressed at the societal, community and individual level. One of the most important outcomes of educating and preparing people is to help preserve human capital. The report recommends that governments and employers alike, need to rethink ‘retirement’ to better match the concept of later life today. They are instrumental in increasing the value of elders in the workforce and the community so that they can bring wisdom and perspective, to younger generations and beyond.
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Global Development and Management in Healthcare
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