EUROPEAN PAPERS ON THE NEW WELFARE

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A Comment on Flexible Work Option for All in the USA

In the US, effective January 2007, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows traditional pension plans to pay retirement benefits to workers at least aged 62 while still working. Some believe this may encourage older employees to work longer to ease the labor shortage caused by retiring baby boomers. However, many of those continuing to work would be part-timers. So, filling the gap of an impending labor shortage requires drawing workers from people of any age. A human resource strategy of flexible work options for all ages could help generate more workers.
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Mental Health: Another Dimension of Health and Ageing

1. Introduction

Life expectancy in the United States continues to rise, reaching another all-time high of 77.6 years. While long life is almost always celebrated, it is merely the quantitative aspect of one’s existence. How the quality of life of a long-lived individual is affected by a prolonged period of living is a question not posed often enough. One of the major concerns of a long life is the possibility of ill health since the chances of frailty and dependency tend to rise with age. This paper discusses issues concerning quantity of life and quality of life in the context of health and ageing. Although the frame of reference is that of the United States, some of the observations and implications may have relevance for other countries as well1.
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Long-Term Care: A Key Issue for the 2005 White House Conference on Ageing

1. Introduction

The 2005 White House Conference on Ageing is scheduled for December in Washington, D.C. This once-a-decade Conference will be the fifth in the series dating from 1961. While past Conferences had all dealt with numerous issues as they should, each Conference had its major focus — for example, health care in 1961, income maintenance in 1971, and social security in 1981. What should be the major focus of the 2005 Conference? I nominate long-term care, despite the fact that social security reform has dominated discussions of domestic policy this year.
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