Successful Aging in Monasteries? a Qualitative Study on the Impact of Longer Working Life on Health and Quality of Life of Order Members in Austria

Desiree Krivanek, Vienna Institute of Demography

The absolute and relative increase of retired people exerts increasing pressure on the social security systems in many European countries. The policy approach that is primarily pursued, is to raise the legal age of retirement. However, less is known on the consequences of extending working life on health and quality of life. For a better assessment of these consequences, this study examined the effects on health and quality of life of order members going beyond the traditional retirement age. Until the end of their lives, order members stay active in their community, in which the activity is adapted to the changing physical and mental abilities. On the basis of 16 episodic interviews and four observations we aim to obtain a comprehensive understanding of extending working life on health and quality of life to improve the working environment, health and quality of life of the general population. Finally the qualitative results will be combined with our quantitative survey data to gain a holistic view on this important topic.

Presented in Poster Session 1