This episode of the “Second Start” radio show, launched within the framework of the Alzheimer’s Care Armenia Brain Health project in collaboration with Public Radio of RA, is dedicated to the social protection of the elderly. In this sphere, the state encourages the employment of persons aged 65 years and older.
“Maximum extension of the working life of older people, increasing their competitiveness in the labor market are important factors affecting their quality of life,” said Anahit Gevorgyan, the expert of the Elderly Affairs Department of the Equal Opportunities Office of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of RA.
According to the expert, in this matter, our country is guided by the regional strategy of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging, one of the ten key points of which concerns the elimination of age discrimination.
Gohar Khachatryan, advocate for the interests of the Mission Armenia charitable organization, noted that the initiatives are being implemented within the framework of the social entrepreneurship program, which also includes older people.
In the film “European Union Solidarity Program for the Eastern Partnership countries in relation to COVID-19”, in cooperation with the organization, produced a film, called “People in need”, where older people talk about their work experience, how they feel while working, what changes it brings realization of work opportunities in their lives.
In addition, within the framework of the program, it is planned to discuss the problems that older people face in the labor market with the participation of representatives of interested bodies. An attempt will be made to find legislative loopholes that keep older people out of the labor market.
“Speaking about the rights to work of older people and ensuring equal opportunities, we do not oppose this to the employment of young people,” Gohar Khachatryan emphasizes.
Anahit Gevorgyan noted that the level of employment of older people in our country today is unsatisfactory. Only 12% of the 372,000 retirees are registered workers. For comparison, we note that in developed countries this figure is 40-50%.
The President of the Branch Republican Union of Trade Unions of Higher Educational Institutions of Armenia Armen Avetisyan, presenting a picture in the university sector, noted that in addition to solving social problems, most teachers simply cannot imagine their life without this work.
“It is wrong to be guided by the age principle and say that a person is 65 years old, he should not work. It is necessary to be guided by the principle of whether a person is able to enter the audience and pass on what he knows to the younger generation. If he has such an opportunity, then dismissing him from work only on the basis of age is shameful, to put it mildly, discrimination,” A. Avetisyan is convinced.
In cases where the lecturer cannot reach the audience due to his age, he can still continue his activities at the department as a researcher, supervising the scientific work of one or more students.
“In addition, we have young professors aged 40-45, who are 90 out of 90, because they come to the university, stand in the department and lecture from paper, and some elderly professors know how to conduct an interactive lesson,” he said. A. Avetisyan draws parallels.
When asked about the qualities of those seniors whose colleagues and management ask them to continue their activities even after retirement, Ms. Gevorgyan explains by her own example that senior employees are also bearers of institutional memory.
“For example, I remember all the legal acts developed and discussed in this area in our ministry since 1992, and this is the foundation on which we must continue to build,” concludes the expert of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of RA, quoting the words of a famous geriatrician: age is very problematic, however, wisdom and experience are a factor of time, and this is precisely the advantage of the old ones.