26 March 2013
This monograph has been produced by the Centre of Expertise in Longevity and Long-term Care (Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague), International Longevity Centre-Czech Republic, drawing on the ideas and impetus which emanated from an International Longevity Centre Global Alliance symposium held in Prague, Czech Republic on May 28, 2012 as part of the 11th Global Conference on Ageing. The theme for the symposium, “Productive ageing: Conditions and opportunities”.
The monograph is intended to highlight positive aspects of ageing and longevity, and the increasing potential these processes offer individuals and society, as well as to explore determinants, conditions and threats to prospects of productive ageing and longevity. It embraces and supports the concept of productive ageing propounded by a co-founder of International Longevity Center (ILC),® Dr. Robert N. Butler, and articulates his leadership in this area. Dr Butler first introduced the term “productive ageing” in a seminar on dependency and long-term care in Salzburg, Austria in 1982. He emphasised that the term should focus on positive aspects and the potential of ageing. Productive ageing is thus an antonym and an antidote to negative views of ageing, which Butler referred to as “ageism” – indeed, another term he coined, in his 1975 Pulitzer Prize-winning book Why Survive? Being Old in America (1976).
The monograph brings together perspectives from 11 of the 14 ILCs operated on four continents at present (Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Netherlands, Israel, Singapore, India, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and South Africa). The chapters, which interpret “productive ageing” in the way that Dr. Robert Butler intended, explore intersections of health and work, at the same time taking cognisance of existential challenges to individuals and societies. Outcomes of the chapters represent an overview of the state of paid and unpaid economic activity of older persons in the countries, and a range of constraints to productive activity and social participation, as well as offer solutions and suggest approaches towards fostering productive ageing in multiple forms and optimising capacity for such productivity.
The report is available to download below.