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Life can feel meaningless and unfulfilling without a purpose

Indeed, without the ability to validate who we are and have a sense of personal value we can experience frustration, a feeling of powerlessness and even anger, potentially leading to a decrease in functional capacity.

Retirement Transition & Well-being – A 16 year Longitudinal Study: Changes in functional capacity and transition to retirement (Source: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health – Article III)

In the capability study (Article III), the focus was on the changes of functional capacity (a summary score of cognitive, physical, psycho-emotional, and motor functioning) over the follow-up from the working stage to the pensioner stage. The main aim of the study was to find out whether any differences exist in functional capacity between different types of work (mentally demanding, physically demanding), whether occupational status (at work, retired) had any relations to the level of functional capacity, and finally, what the role of ageing is in these changes.

Over the follow-up, functional capacity decreased slightly from the working stage to the pensioner stage (Table 5.3.1.). The decrease was larger among men than among women, especially in cognitive, physical and motor functioning. Consequently, the decrease of total functional capacity was strong among men, and this drop also occurred at an earlier stage (the transition stage) than among women. At the end of the follow-up, at the pensioner stage, functional capacity was higher among women than among men.

The changes in functional capacity over time were also highly associated with occupational status (Figure 5.3.1.). From the transition stage onwards, there were outstanding changes in all occupational status groups. The previous decrease among occupationally active respondents and among disability pensioners had turned into an increase in functional capacity. The trend among the old-age pensioners was quite the opposite and at the final stage their level of functional capacity was somewhat lower than at the transition stage.

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