The Estonian population is decreasing and aging – according to Statistics Estonia, by 2040 the population decreases by 130,000 persons and the share of persons aged 65 and older increases from 18.4% to 27.6%. Therefore, it is important to develop sustainable policies and measures to support the participation of older people in labour market and in society. In order to do that, studies about this group have been and will be conducted, including this particular study which measures the activity and coping of people aged 50 and more and compares the results to the similar study conducted in 2009.
The study showed that overall the older people are rather active in labour market, but it is due to low social protection rather than active labour market policies and labour relations policies. On the positive side, some steps to improve the situation have already been taken. For example, retirement aged persons have the right to register as job-seeker and take part in some active labour market measures like training or work practice. Also, a lot of attention has been turned to promoting and developing life-long learning possibilities. Still, it is important to also promote flexible working conditions and possibilities for reconciling family and work life, due to health restrictions or caring burden of older people.
Attention must also be turned to different services aiming at helping and supporting persons. The study showed that on the one hand, the need for services exceeds the possibilities of local governments who are responsible of offering the services, but on the other hand the information about available services does not reach the target group, especially as electronic means of spreading information gain more and more popularity among the service providers, while the older people still need more explanations and guiding regarding electronic devices.
The study concluded that preventive measures are very important in order to help people to stay active and participative in society when they get older.