Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Janet Richmond

Second Advisor

Elaine Legerwood

Abstract

Retirement is a significant life transition that affects all workers; it is therefore important that individuals in the workforce are aware of the issues that can occur during the retirement years. The retirement experience has been researched in depth, however studies into the experience of retirement for individuals with an intellectual disability is severely lacking. Robert Atchley researched the factors that facilitate successful retirement adjustment for individuals in the normative population; this narrative review discusses these factors in relation to the barriers that individuals with an intellectual disability face in achieving a smooth retirement adjustment. The results found that: individuals with an intellectual disability are more likely to be obligated into early retirement; have an increased chance of experiencing health difficulties; experience financial limitations and have disparities with appropriate accommodation. Individuals with an intellectual disability have also been found to have little comprehension of the retirement notion and subsequently lack retirement preplanning. In addition it was also found that there are problems in governmental policies which can result in inappropriate and inadequate services for individuals with an intellectual disability. The life expectancy of individuals with a disability has significantly increased in the last century. Organisations that cater for the population with a disability face the challenge of providing appropriate services that meet the changing needs of their clientele throughout the ageing process. There is currently a paucity of research on the topic of disability and retirement. This qualitative study explores the experience of retirement often individuals with a disability. The data was analysed in a framework approach using the Atchley Model of retirement. Overall the findings from this study show that participants experience a range of health complications throughout retirement and have limited community integration however were found to have increased financial stability during this time. A greater knowledge of the experience of retirement for individuals with a disability will assist service providers in identifying voids in policies and systems to better serve the needs of retiring individuals.

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