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Age Ageing. 2009 Sep;38(5):531-7. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afp089. Epub 2009 May 27.

Continued work employment and volunteerism and mental well-being of older adults: Singapore longitudinal ageing studies.

Author information

  • 1Gerontology Research Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119074.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

to examine the effect of late life engagement in continued work involvement or volunteer activities during retirement on mental well-being.

METHODS:

two waves of data from the Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Studies were analyzed for 2,716 Singaporeans aged 55 or above at baseline and 1,754 at 2-year follow-up. Trained research nurses interviewed participants (non-volunteering retiree, volunteering retiree, and working seniors) on mental health status (geriatric depression scale, Mini Mental State Examination, positive mental wellbeing and life satisfaction).

RESULTS:

about 88% of seniors were retired (78% non-volunteering, 10% volunteering) and 12% were still working in paid employment or business. At baseline and 2 year follow up, and regardless of physical health status, volunteering retirees and working seniors gave significantly better MMSE cognitive performance scores, fewer depressive symptoms, and better mental well-being and life satisfaction than non-volunteering retirees.

CONCLUSION:

the results of this study suggest that continued work involvement or volunteerism provides opportunities for social interaction and engagement and may be associated with enhanced mental well-being. Future research should clarify which specific aspects of volunteerism are related to long-term mental well-being.

PMID:
19474036
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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