The age written on your passport can be very different from the age you look…
In most cases, it is the age on the passport that matters! We hear a lot about the “senior generation”, or the “third age”, more commonly used a few years ago; but who does this category represent exactly?
Seniors, a socio-economic category
As a socio-economic group, seniors are defined as the people over 60 years old, in the last years of their professional career or the premises of retirement. Three groups* are commonly defined:
- The active population: early sixties, in good health, they still partake in the economic growth of their country. In some cases, they are still employed, or have just retired. They are statistically fond of cruises and timeshare property, that they have turned into real trends.
- The fragile population: older (70 to 85 years old), they are still autonomous but experience their first major health issues.
- The dependent seniors: affected by a disabling condition, they are partially or completely deprived of their autonomy.
Note: The senior population is growing and so is their average life expectancy! 19% of the French population is over 65 years old**.
Being a senior in the workplace
The word “senior” does not exactly refer to the same notion in the private area and in the professional world… In certain fields of activity, workers over 40 are already considered seniors! The notion incorporates the age, the overall professional experience and the career evolution in a company. The concept may seem blurry, but it can have an influence on recruiters’ evaluation: “senior” employees are skilled, experts in their field, but also costly and sometimes difficult to manage because of their independent spirit. They are either pursued for their expertise, or turned down for financial reasons. However, the situation seems to become less binary: indeed, since the senior population is increasing, seniors are also more represented in the professional area: more than 50% of the 55 to 64 year old population was active in 2017 (http://dares.travail-emploi.gouv.fr/dares-etudes-et-statistiques/tableaux-de-bord/le-marche-du-travail-les-jeunes-et-les-seniors/article/les-seniors-et-le-marche-du-travail).
Feeling like a senior… or not!
In the end, what exactly defines a senior? Is it the date of birth written on a passport or the age perceived? Three notions may be distinguished: the real age, the social age (the age given by the people around) and the age perceived (the age that the person feels like). Among these three concepts, it is the latter that matters the most. People live, consume, and find entertainment according to what they deem appropriate to their age, and the gap between the real and perceived age keeps growing along the way… To put it in other words, to more senior you are, the younger you feel! The emerging market of high-tech but discreet personal assistance devices, such as the Weenect Senior GPS tracker, allows seniors to live an independent and safe life.
Certain steps are crucial in the course of a lifetime: the youngest kid leaving the house, retirement, the death of a relative, health decline, and family members expressing concern. We all refer to these events as milestones of time passing by.
Considered a senior on paper or in the workplace? What really matters is the age that you perceive, not the age given by your birthdate or the number of years of experience. With good health and optimism, you can be 20 years old forever!
* Observatoire Sodexho de la Qualité de Vie au Quotidien 2007 (2007 Sodexho Observatory of Daily Life Quality)
**Numbers from INSEE 2017