The fourth stage of life is the term used by the Argentine engineer Rafael Kohanoff, which begins after retirement, but part of a different vision that seeks to "get out of the theory that once you reach a certain age you have to stop working ", you do not have to force people, but if they want to, they should be given the opportunity and the conditions to do so, he says.
"It has to be the stage of life wanted, longed for, respected and sought after", continuing with an integral life, with a lucid mind, thinking, doing things and working, which could generate a substantial change; the look has to be different because social equity is sought, that people have the same possibilities of enjoying life.
"When retirement was invented in the year 1900, it was thought that 60-year-old people did not have more physical, intellectual and psychological capacity, and also that they would die after two years, which was the last part" , life expectancy at that time was lower, now it is 80. "We do not die after two years of retirement, we live 20, 30 years", adds Rafael Kohanoff.
It generates a number of people who have experience, "who have already studied, who have already learned, who have already worked", who represent a potential and a wealth that is not understood or used.
However, the retiree is excluded from society, it is said that "it is the one that can no longer", this idea of many state agencies and also compared by society is discriminatory and is preventing us from understanding that there is a change.
The challenge of today's society is to understand that we have new potential, based on the fact that there are needs that are not met by the market and the State, which can be addressed by retirees, said the director of the Center for Health Technologies and Disability of the National Institute of Industrial Technology of Argentina.
"The situation of the retiree is very different, there are those who want to do something and do not know how to do it or how, some people have had a hard work life and when you talk to them about work they do not want to know anything, all these new situations have to be They are in a tremendous potential that is what he called the fourth stage of life, the most beautiful and the most important, "Kohanoff explains.
In addition, he points out that in some congresses people are alarmed because "the old live longer and are getting older," but he tells them not to be alarmed by that, to be alarmed if they arrive poor and old, but if they arrive in good condition with the wealth they have accumulated is a glorious age.
There is much to do, says the 93-year-old engineer, but he indicates that what he sees is "laments", an alarm of how many older adults there are and how much they are living, and "they are almost considered a burden", so we have to modify that situation.
When sharing his experience, he tells that from "a look at reality" they have developed several things. In a nursing home in his country, when approaching older adults he asked how he could help them in a technological way, to improve their lives.
A man's request caught his attention, 'Can not you do something to keep the canes from falling down?' He said, and at that moment the engineer remembered that he had witnessed this problem several times, but he had never been happened to do something so that it did not happen. Kohanoff asked his team to search the Internet if there was an artifact for that purpose, but the surprise was that there was not.
"The cane falls, this is a risk because a lot of people have fallen and broken their hips", this was the part for the development of needs in this sector, among which are: a long shoehorn for those who can not stoop, a sock planer, a back scraper or a clothes lifter. In total, they have designed nine devices always consulting people.
However, he found that the market told them "this is not business," then they acted, made plans and trained Argentine retirees and domiciliary carers so they could manufacture themselves. This initiative plans to expand to Mexico, through simple cooperation agreements, since the products they developed are not patented.
"They are made for a free transfer, and we are going to transfer the plans, the manuals and we are looking at the possibility of a very fast training course so that this can reach the last person who needs it," says Rafael Kohanoff.
The engineer received the honorary doctorate in Mexico from part of 17, Institute of Critical Studies, last Wednesday.