Compliments of
John Verster
Changing Places Vancouver
Volume 12 Edition 2
(Re-) Defining Retirement...and the Changing Nature of Work

I'm now of the age where looming retirement, in its traditional sense, can be measured with the fingers of two hands. It means the 'R-Word' can now be mentioned and discussed in polite mixed conversation without the subject being quickly changed.
I attended a seminar recently on the changing workplace. Much of it focused on the shift in demographics as large numbers of Boomers (born 1946-1964) reach the traditional retirement age, and there aren't enough Generation Xers (born 1965-1981) to replace them in the workplace. And don’t mention 'Gen Y' (1982-1996): they haven't even reached their thirties when their Boomer parents are contemplating retirement!
But the seminar also got us (mostly Boomers) thinking about the changing nature of work in order to cope with the diminishing numbers of worker-bees. In the coming years, retirement, as it is traditionally defined, and as our parents faced it, will change so much, it will become very difficult to define. Governments use the term to decide when you can begin receiving a state pension.
We've already seen some changes in Canada with the scrapping of the mandatory retirement age. Retiring at 65 was first introduced in Germany in 1880: that was fine when we were only expected to live until we were 58. But now that we’re routinely living until our mid-eighties, it seems cruel and unusual punishment to make someone stop work at 65, give them a pittance of a state pension, and still expect them to live another 20-plus, perhaps difficult, years. Many of the rules, deadlines and figures regarding CPP and OAS will change – will have to change – in light of the changing workforce. I predict in my lifetime government will be forced to provide some serious incentives to encourage seniors not to retire.
Already we are seeing senior staff being laid off on a Friday, and returning on the Monday, but as a contractor. ‘Contractualization’ of jobs can be beneficial for all parties if it is done properly. In the years ahead, expect to see a lot more contractors replacing more costly employees in the workplace.
Stories of big companies hiring cheaper part-time staff (rather than full-timers with benefits) are well known. But in the future, because of changing demographics, the decision whether to be full-time or part-time will shift from the employer to the employee. Employers will have to be a lot more flexible with their staff because there will be so few youngsters to go around. This will allow many workers – particularly mature workers – to choose the hours they work, where they work from, and when they will ‘retire’. And ‘getting the work done’ will become the workplace mantra of the future – the ‘where’ and ‘how long’ will be far less relevant than the outcome.

Flexi-time was a great concept in the seventies, however the focus was on hours put in rather than productivity got out. But if it only takes 23 hours a week to get one’s job done, why pay someone to be at work for 40 hours per week? Some companies are already using the ‘results-only work environment’ (ROWE) model, which allows staff to take off whenever they want, provided they get the work done.
And ‘getting the work done’ will become the workplace mantra of the future – the ‘where’ and ‘how long’ will be far less relevant than the outcome. Changing demographics, better technologies and workplace efficiencies are going to transform the way we work, as well as when we retire.
I used to joke that retirement for me was a four-day weekend. Ha! Do you want to hear something even funnier? It starts “If I retire....”
Article by Alex Handyside, CPCA,

How Does Age Affect Blood Donation? - Part 2

Q - I heard there is an age cut-off for donating blood – is this true? What are the most common reasons a senior donor might be deferred from donating blood? And what are the most common reasons a senior might need blood products to stay healthy?
A – If you read the last issue of “Maturity Matters,” you will have seen our answer to the first question. In this issue, we’ll tackle the second question and then we’ll save the third for next month’s issue.
There are many reasons why a senior blood donor might be deferred from donating blood and many of these reasons may have little to do with age per se. Common temporary deferrals include travel restrictions and low haemoglobin. Because malaria is transmissible through blood, Canadian Blood Services temporarily defers donors who have travelled to areas considered to be malaria-risk zones.
These areas unfortunately include many of the world’s top travel destinations, sometimes making it difficult for avid travelers to be able to donate on a regular basis.

To reduce the impact of this deferral, Canadian Blood Services encourages donors to give before travelling, so you’re not deferred at the next appointment following your exotic vacation.
Low haemoglobin (or iron) also causes donor deferrals for many donors. If the low haemoglobin is due to dietary issues, following the Canada Food Guide and taking a daily vitamin pill may be helpful in preventing this deferral.
Your annual or periodic check-up with your doctor is a great opportunity to discuss your diet, and whether for example, as a regular blood donor, a daily oral iron supplement may be a healthy dietary choice to consider.
An unfortunate and fairly common reason for deferral of senior donors is cancer. For the safety of both donors and recipients, those who are diagnosed with cancer at any time in their life are permanently deferred from donating blood.
For those who have successfully fought cancer and are still eager to be involved with Canadian Blood Services, they’re encouraged to volunteer with the organization instead, working in the refreshment area of the clinic or promoting the cause within their community.
Dr. Mark Bigham is a Medical Consultant for both Canadian Blood Services and Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia

Turkey and Bean Rice Wraps

Colourful and refreshing, these wraps have hints of southwest chili and lime flavour. Easily a new family favourite to enjoy for lunches or dinner. Pack the turkey and bean mixture separately and wrap your lunch on site with the lettuce.

125 mL (1/2 cup) long grain brown rice
250 mL (1 cup) no salt added chicken broth
500 g (1 lb) turkey cutlets or scalloppini
10 mL (2 tsp) canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 mL (1 tsp) chili powder
2 mL (1/2 tsp) grated lime rind
25 mL (2 tbsp) lime juice
175 mL (3/4 cup) salsa
250 mL (1 cup) corn kernels
250 mL (1 cup) canned cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
25 mL (2 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated


1. In saucepan, bring rice and broth to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes or until tender and liquid is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, cut turkey cutlets into strips crosswise; place in bowl. Add 5 mL (1 tsp) of the oil, garlic, chili powder, lime rind and juice; stir until well coated.

3. In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium high heat and cook turkey stirring for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Add cooked rice and salsa; stir to coat.

4. Stir in corn and beans and cook for about 2 minutes or until warmed through. Stir in coriander and spoon into lettuce leaves and roll up to enjoy.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 cup), Yields: 1.5 L (6 cups), Makes 6 Servings. Calories: 244, Protein: 24 g, Total fat: 4 g, Saturated fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 43 mg, Carbohydrate: 28 g, Fibre: 4 g, Sugars: 2 g, Sodium: 346 mg, Potassium: 601 mg

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. ©Heart and Stroke Foundation 2011.

Live Life Fully

"Time is life. It is irreversible and irreplaceable. To waste your time is to waste your life, but to master your time is to master your life and make the most of it."

Alan Lakein

"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."

M. Scott Peck

The Canadian Population is Aging

The Canadian population is aging. In 2010, the median age in Canada was 39.7 years, meaning that half of the population was older than that and half was younger. In 1971, the median age was 26.2 years.
Seniors make up the fastest-growing age group. This trend is expected to continue for the next several decades due mainly to a decreased fertility rate (i.e. number of children by women), an increase in life expectancy, and the effects of the baby boom. In 2010, an estimated 4.8 million Canadians were 65 years of age or older, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years to reach 10.4 million seniors by 2036. By 2051, about one in four Canadians is expected to be 65 or over.
Source: Statistics Canada. Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories, annual (CANSIM Table 051-0001). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2010.

Medic Alert Bracelets

Travel Tip

Consider investing in a Medic Alert bracelet. In an emergency this internationally-recognized bracelet provides medical personnel with information about the bearer's medical condition, drug allergies, and current medication information, and gives access to your medical history via a 24-hour telephone hotline. Contact 1-800-668-1507.

(Re-) Defining Retirement...and the Changing Nature of Work
How Does Age Affect Blood Donation? - Part 2
Turkey and Bean Rice Wraps
Live Life Fully
The Canadian Population is Aging
Medic Alert Bracelets