The working elderly employees are usually taken advantage of due to their age.
Examples of that simply based on the fact that they need the job in order to survive and in out times, it's very hard to get a job. Most younger people have a hard time getting a decent job in the States and the elderly have an even harder time getting one.
So, when they get one, they aren't paid as much as their younger counterparts, but are expected to do as much physical work as the younger employees do.
The elderly worker will bust his butt to try to keep up and in some cases do more than the younger worker as a lot of the younger workers are simply lazy and will watch you do it while smoking a cigarette.
The author of this piece has had 3 hernia operations within a 10 year period after he was hired. Companies will not assume any responsibility for that and simply say that we should have known better. However, if we would have taken the position that we shouldn't have lifted or performed the task that caused the physical problem ... our job would be in jeapardy or we would be terminated.
So, the answer is, for us... keep it up no matter what the cost physically or monitarily.
That's because we need the job so bad......