OTTAWA – They strut their stuff up on the stage, mix drinks and work out the kinks. But don’t look to any of Canada’s elderly to do circus tricks, pull rabbits out of their hats or put on puppet shows.
Statistics Canada’s latest release of data from the National Household Survey shows the oldest among us are taking up some glamorous gigs in their golden years.
Some of the more limber Canadians aged 75 and older took to the stage to show off their dance moves, the survey shows. Others reported getting behind the bar to pour drinks. A handful of them work as masseuses.
They don’t shy away from keeping the public safe, either. Some seniors put their lives on the line fighting fires or working as police officers. Close to 1,500 of them work as security guards.
Some in the oldest age bracket are apparently still serving in the military — a curious claim, since there’s a mandatory retirement age well below the age of 75. Nonetheless, 35 seniors said they were commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces, while another 55 said they were in the military’s non-commissioned ranks.
None, however, managed to find work as circus performers, magicians, models or puppeteers. Most of those jobs went to people between the ages of 25 and 34.
But that’s not to say all show biz jobs went to youngsters. Some seniors express their creative flair as performing artists, actors and comedians. Others are sculptors and painters. There are also hundreds of musicians and singers.
Other jobs held by the elderly are decidedly more blue collar, including butchers, loggers, postal workers and gas-station attendants.
Some seniors reported working operating heavy-duty machinery or chainsaws. There are others who work as crane operators, and as drillers and blasters at mines and quarries.
A handful of seniors even took to the skies as pilots, flight engineers or flying instructors. However, none work as flight attendants. Others make their living on land by driving transport trucks, buses, subways, taxis and limousines.
Of course, not all elderly people hold such glamorous or exotic jobs. In fact, most work in pretty staid surroundings.
The vast majority of people aged 75 and above work as managers, the data shows. Other popular occupations for the elderly are in the fields of sales, business and finance.
There were a few surprises at the other end of the age spectrum, too.
Teens between the ages of 15 and 19 reported holding jobs not normally associated with anyone who’s still in high school, such as family and marriage counsellors, funeral directors and embalmers, and even senior management positions.