Old age is not always a time for retirement

[b]Mogilev has recently hosted the Busting Stereotypes of Old Age photo exhibition — organised by the UN Population Fund [/b]Mogilev photographers Yevgenia Alefirenko and Rodion Kovenkin have taken photos of the over 60s in non-traditional settings. Rather than being pictured on park benches and surrounded by grandchildren, they are seen using laptop computers, roller-skating, playing badminton, falling in love and travelling. The idea is to convince youngsters and elderly people alike that it’s never too late to study, go in for sports or get married.
Mogilev has recently hosted the Busting Stereotypes of Old Age photo exhibition — organised by the UN Population Fund

Mogilev photographers Yevgenia Alefirenko and Rodion Kovenkin have taken photos of the over 60s in non-traditional settings. Rather than being pictured on park benches and surrounded by grandchildren, they are seen using laptop computers, roller-skating, playing badminton, falling in love and travelling. The idea is to convince youngsters and elderly people alike that it’s never too late to study, go in for sports or get married.
The opening of the exhibition gathered many representatives of the elderly generation, who chatted to young people with pleasure and discussed problems with their peers. Many are keen to enjoy gratis health groups and would love to visit museums free of charge. Mogilev’s grandmothers and grandfathers like an active lifestyle — as confirmed by 71 year old Olga Romanovskaya, who has recently mastered mountain skiing.
Additionally, a growing number of elderly people have no wish to retire, even when their pension age arrives. Many retain enough strength and good health to continue working. “As of December 2008, 28,700 people over working age were still employed in the Mogilev region — comprising 6.4 percent of the total,” notes the Head of the Social Protection and Social Servicing Department at the Mogilev Regional Executive Committee’s Committee for Labour, Employment and Social Protection, Tatiana Yushkevich. “Public associations, science and art embrace the greatest number of employed pensioners. Moreover, their labour activity is growing — in December 2005, they comprised 5.4 percent of the employed population.”
Meanwhile, more than half of all Mogilev’s residents are against raising pension age. They are clearly used to perceiving 55-60 years as a grand age of grey hair — a stereotype which is difficult to put aside…
Belarus’ Deputy Labour and Social Protection Minister, Valentina Koroleva, says that only four states in the world — Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Belarus — have a retirement age of 55 and 60. Although the issue of raising this figure is being debated, it’s unlikely that any change will occur in the near future.

By Irina Mendeleeva
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