Forum: Living life with a goal is key to better health and well-being

As someone who volunteers with the elderly, I see mature workers who are gainfully employed enjoying a better quality of life (New guide to help employers in career planning for mature workers, July 13).

Purposeful longevity means living life with a goal, where one is able to pursue one's own interests and actively contribute at one's workplace and the community. This results in better health and well-being.

One can enjoy purposeful longevity through working and lifelong learning. Working enables better physical and psychological well-being and provides added financial security.

We all need to have a purpose in life.

I am a great admirer of our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who said: "I think the most important single lesson I learnt in life was that if you isolate yourself, you're done for. The human being is a social animal - he needs stimuli, he needs to meet people, to catch up with the world... You must have an interest in life. If you're not interested in the world and the world is not interested in you, the biggest punishment a man can receive is total isolation in a dungeon."

Indeed, an important part of ageing well is maintaining social support and engagement in activities.

As Singapore faces a manpower shortage, it would be good to re-employ seniors. It would help the mature worker earn an income and continue to contribute to society. The wisdom of mature workers makes them a valuable asset to a company.

In addition, we are now facing a time of great inflation and our cost of living is rising. Some seniors may not have enough retirement savings. Having a chance to continue working would help relieve their financial worries.

Senior workers may need training to keep up with today's technology. Some may not be able to work long hours due to health issues. So it would be good to allow them to work part-time instead.

Emily Yap Yong An

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