Understanding retirement for ageing adults with a disability in supported employment

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

British Journal of Occupational Therapy



Place of Publication

United Kingdom


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Goods, N., & Millsteed, J. (2016). Understanding retirement for ageing adults with a disability in supported employment. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 79(11), 713-721. Available here.


Introduction Employees with disabilities in supported employment are ageing and, as their retirement from work approaches, it is critical to consider how they perceive their occupational roles might change. They need to consider what activities they choose to engage in, and what service or supports might be necessary to make a successful transition to retirement. The aim of this study was to understand how ageing employees with disabilities perceive retirement, and how their occupational roles might change. Method A qualitative study was conducted with 10 participants working in a supported employment service, for whom transitioning from work to retirement was imminent. Findings Participants perceived retirement to be boring, full of meaningless activities and lonely. It also meant a reduced income that would result in hardship, and a loss of self-esteem at losing their employee role. They had limited knowledge about alternative activities in retirement. Conclusion Participants perceived significant barriers to making the transition from employee to retiree. Occupational therapy can provide support with pre-retirement planning and evidence-based strategies such as a client-centred approach, mapping new routines, and training staff and mentors. They could also advocate for changes in service delivery to improve practices that will encourage active ageing for people with disabilities in retirement. © The Author(s) 2016.



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