Research Project code：9800038139
Update date：Dec. 15, 2003
How to support adaptation and independence of old people
1994 - 1995
Investigating Researcher (2)：
In the coming 'super aged society', it is expected that independent older people participate in the society and 'support themselves'. For achieving this, it is also expected that people need to prepare for the life after retirement physically and mentally even before retirement. Looking at small and medium-sized enterprises having stronger linkage with communities and focusing on middle-aged and older employees who start to pay attention to retirement and life after that, this study examines older people's self-support and social participation. A study committee composed of 7 members was established to discuss on various elements of the study, including plans and content of the study and to examine the way to conclude and publish the study findings. The committee decided to conduct surveys on private enterprises (their measures to assist middle-aged and older employees' social participation) and individuals (employees' life planning and recognition of social participation). A total of 5,000 subjects were selected to mail a questionnaire including private companies with 30 to 299 employees in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Saitama, Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures and their employees. A total of 778 companies (15.6%) and 1,105 employees (22.0%) responded to the questionnaire. In summary, it is found that both men and women are willing to work even after they reach the age eligible for pension payment-men expect they will work even when they are at the age of 65-66 and older and women at the age of 62-63 and older. It was found that their motivation for this was 'economic reasons' but for 'non-economic reasons'. There is some difference between measures companies currently take for utilizing middle-aged and older employees. While many employees involve themselves in activities for 'social participation', and some companies support their community activities apart from work life, it is also found that companies' support generally does not match well with the interest of employees. Of companies that provided support responding to employees' request or proposal, a number of companies responded favorably about 'employees' private social activities away from work life' saying that those activities would 'revitalize employees' or 'strengthen the linkage between the company and the community'. Meanwhile, only a very few companies responded that those activities could lead to 'deterioration of work efficiency' or 'employees' social activities should not be associated with their company or work life'. On one hand, although most employees realized that they needed to 'prepare in some way' for days after retirement, they have done nothing yet. On the other hand, companies have already implemented measures to support their employees to encourage them to find purpose of life or to participate in social activities in the form of 'support for preparation for retirement'. The support, however, is not necessarily effective and it is appeared that systematical and community-oriented measures need to be taken, considering the present status of small and medium-sized enterprises. It is also found that employees, particularly middle aged and older men working at companies in the metropolitan Tokyo area, have less sense of belonging to the community than others.
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