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Gap Year Not Just for Teens

A recent proposal by the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt, for a ‘seniors gap year’ in the lead up to the traditional retirement age is a bold idea.Presented as part of his address to the National Press Club in Canberra late last month, Wyatt suggested ‘70 is the new 40’ and went on to explain that with increased life expectancy he believed “more and more people will want to work in some capacity, into their seventies or beyond.”The idea of a seniors gap year would be to give those people the time to consider how they could best plan for those future years.This got us thinking about how it could possibly work.Do those over 50 need a break from employment to consider their future plans?Would a gap year help identify the options for part time employment or volunteer work beyond the age of 65?Would it allow you to train for a different type of work?Or does it present a great opportunity to travel or do something you’ve always wanted to do, knowing you can come back to a job?In his address Wyatt encouraged “anybody to seriously think about it, because if you want to keep the talent you have in your organisation, then don’t let it go to waste, because you have people with a cumulative corporate knowledge.”“We need to change our mindset and we need to think about the incredible living books and living knowledge that sits within every Australian over the age of 60,” he said.We couldn’t agree more.At Feros Care we are constantly in awe of the knowledge and life experience of those in our care.It’s one of the reasons we set up the Ask Gran Not Google learning project.It enables our seniors to add value to the lives of others and in turn feel valued.Growing bold not old means staying active, healthy and engaged with the community.To enjoy our senior years it’s essential we all look for new and innovative ways we can stay connected.Minister Wyatt’s idea is just one possibility.It’s a fresh idea about ageing and the type of thing Feros Care is always keen to hear more about.

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