Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Jannine Millsteed

Second Advisor

Dr Sonya Girdler

Abstract

The disabled working population is ageing creating a need for transitional programs in supported employment. Limited research in this area makes it difficult to design programs which adequately address their needs which affects the quality of service provision. A review of Scopus, CINAHL, MEDLINE; Psyclnfo and ISI Web of Science databases was conducted. Outcomes of interest were studies looking specifically at perceptions of disabled workers in supported employment making the transition to retirement. Due to the dearth of information on this topic studies focusing on non-disabled populations or disabilities though injury or illness were included. Major findings suggest when workers perceive their input into retirement transitions as limited it can affect their health and well-being in retirement. Understanding the disabled workers' perceived change form worker role to retiree will assist in establishing more effective bridging programs during this transitional stage. Occupational therapists can play an important role in enabling the disabled workforce to age in place and enjoy active and fulfilling lives during their retiree years. This study investigated how workers with disabilities perceived they would make changes in their occupational roles when transitioning from worker to retiree. A mixed methods qualitative-dominant approach was used. Two interviews were undertaken firstly focusing on the worker role and secondly, on the worker's perceived retiree role. The findings suggest the perceived habits of disabled workers upon retirement became highly unstructured. Goal setting was seen as unimportant and social environments were perceived as highly limited upon retirement. The study provides support that occupational therapy interventions may be helpful in assisting ageing disabled workers to prepare for and explore meaningful occupations as they make the transition from worker to retiree. Occupational therapy support during this life transition for ·ageing disabled workers may reduce the risk of isolation and build their knowledge of resources within their communities.

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