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Lifespan Career Counseling Approaches: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population

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2011 first baby boomers will turn 65 ... Aging boomers (1946-1964) Increased life expectancy/better health. Post-boomer declining Birth Rates. In the year 2025: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lifespan Career Counseling Approaches: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population


1
Lifespan Career Counseling Approaches Meeting
the Needs of an Aging Population
  • Laura M. Smith, MS, CRC, CVE
  • Doctoral Student
  • Auburn University

2
The Aging Workforce
  • IRI PSG Contemporary issue and challenge in the
    field of VR, 34th Institute, scheduled May, 2008
  • GAO Forum (12-5-2006) Engaging and Retaining
    Older Workers
  • The Taskforce on the Aging of the American
    Workforce (DOL, May, 2006)

3
Learner Objectives
  • To review the unique characteristics and concerns
    of the mature worker in the context of
    fundamental changes in workplace and workforce
  • To review lifespan career counseling approaches
    that are particularly effective for this
    population
  • To focus on relevant VR issues including
    marketing and collaboration

4
Overview
  • Current and predicted trends for older workers
  • Cultural and economic retirement incentives
  • Older workers unique characteristics and
    concerns
  • Lifespan counseling approaches
  • Recommendations and ponderables

5
Whats Your Real Age?
  • Younger mature adult 40-62
  • Older mature adult 62
  • Real Age complicated by disease and disability
  • Senescence period of decline until death
    cells no longer reproduce organs fail

6
Statistics
  • Currently 35 million people 65 and older
  • 2011 first baby boomers will turn 65
  • 2030 nearly 20 of the population is expected to
    be 65 or older

7
Demographic Tsunami
  • Aging boomers (1946-1964)
  • Increased life expectancy/better health
  • Post-boomer declining Birth Rates
  • In the year 2025
  • Labor force decline
  • Slow economic growth
  • Slow federal revenue growth (GAO Forum, 2007)

8
Life Expectancy/ PopulationStatistics
  • 2003 a 65 year old male has an average life
    expectancy of 16.8 years a 65 year old female
    has an average life expectancy of 19.8 years
  • 12.4 of the population1 in 8 is an older
    American
  • 2004 18.1 of persons 65 were minorities

9
Income and Poverty
  • Sources of income for mature adults include
    Social Security assets private and government
    employee pensions earnings
  • 3.6 million elderly persons (9.8) below the
    poverty level in 2004
  • Poverty Guidelines 9,310 for a single individual
    (Federal Register, Vol. 69, No. 30, 2004.)
  • 2.3 million (6.7) near poor

10
Older Worker Unemployment
  • Subgroups for whom unemployment is persistent
  • Less educated
  • Poorer health
  • African American males
  • 39 reduction in earnings in the two years
    following job loss

11
Incentives to Retire
  • Pension statutes and regulations DB plans
  • Employment Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • Cultural expectations Social Security NRA and
    early retirement age
  • Mandatory retirement age (certain professions)
  • Phased retirement not an option

12
Age-Based Laws
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and
    amendments (EEOC)
  • Older Americans Act and amendments

13
Perceptual, Cultural, and Legal Barriers to Work
  • Age discrimination/employer perceptions
  • Medicare
  • Older worker perceptions
  • Caregiving
  • Managing chronic disease
  • Laws

14
Why Continue Working?
  • Because older workers can!
  • Downsizing
  • Health coverage ability to cover rising costs
    out of pocket
  • Inadequate savings income supplements
  • Quality of life maintenance of current lifestyle
  • Intrinsic needs social, productivity
  • Employment as vocation

15
The Value of Older Workers
  • Experienced human capital/institutional knowledge
  • Loyalty reflected in job tenure
  • Low absentee and turnover rates
  • Many willing to work part time or in contingent
    employment

16
Physical Health Issues
  • Age-onset disabilities include
  • Hypertension (51)
  • Arthritis (48)
  • All types of heart disease (31)
  • Cancer (21)
  • Diabetes (16)
  • Sinusitis (14)

17
Mental Health Issues
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Depression (2-8 for older persons in
    communities 10 in primary health settings 15
    in acute or nursing home settings)
  • Depression as risk factor for disability
  • Suicide rate
  • Anxiety Disorders (11.4 community-residing
    adults) (Swett Bishop, 2003)

18
Substance Abuse Issues
  • Pathways early versus late onset
  • Influences cohort effects, socioeconomic status,
    frail health, discretionary income, status as a
    hidden population, caregiver complicity
    (Benshoff, Harrawood, Koch, 2003)
  • Family, caregiver, and clinician contribution to
    the abuse

19
Transportation Issues
  • Older driver safety
  • Testing and drive remediation
  • High and low technology
  • Alternatives
  • AARP

20
Caregiving Issues
  • Caring for aging parents
  • Sandwich generation (triple-decker with
    grandchildren)
  • Caregiving costs employers 11.7 to 29 billion
    per year in lost productivity (Metropolitan Life
    Insurance Company, 1997)
  • Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
  • www.aoa.dhhs.gov/network.html

21
Best Practices in Counseling Mature Adults
  • Developmental career counseling approaches
  • Transferability
  • Health and financial literacy
  • Training

22
Career Counseling Theory
  • Lifespan, life-space approach (Super)
  • Career Development Stages Growth, exploration,
    establishment, maintenance, disengagement
  • Middle adulthood 45-65
  • Late adulthood over 65
  • Self-concept
  • Career Adaptability

23
Clarification of Vocational Identity
  • Developmental, also known as thematic-extrapolatio
    n method (Super)
  • Client chronologies/life patterns

24
Practical Applications
  • Anticipate and prepare for change
  • Process emotions associated with job loss,
    unemployment, transitions
  • Select occupations congruent with interests and
    abilities transferability
  • Recycle through career stages
  • Participate in lifelong learning (Brewington
    Nassar-McMillan, 2000)

25
Transferable Skills
  • Skills used in one or more jobs that may be
    interchanged or substituted into another job
  • Taking into account residual functional capacity
    (Weed and Field, 2001)
  • Standard vocational evaluation method/tool
    computer-based systems

26
Soft Skills
  • Soft skills Motivation, getting along with
    coworkers, accepting supervision, getting to work
    on time, attending work regularly, giving notice
    of nonattendance, showing enthusiasm for
    improving ones performance, requesting
    reasonable accommodations (Stensrud, 2007)

27
Health Literacy
  • Nine of 10 adults lack skills needed to manage
    health and prevent disease (U.S. Department of
    Health and Human Services, 2007)
  • Numeracy skills
  • Literacy skills
  • Health knowledge
  • 30 million people have below basic health
    literacy, describe health as poor, lack health
    insurance

28
Financial and Benefits Issues
  • Financial literacy
  • Retirement budgeting
  • Future health care costs

29
The Training Imperative
  • The value of training for older employees
  • Environmental factors
  • Employer attitudes
  • Employee attitudes
  • Discouraging training a subtle form of
    discrimination

30
Training Guidelines
  • Pace Give extra time to complete training
  • Provide relevance and hands on experience
  • Build on informal and formal skills
  • Self-directed and designed learning software
    tutorials
  • SeniorNet http//www.seniornet.org/php/default.ph
    p?PageID6636

31
Recommendations
  • Gerontology the study of aging
  • Gerontology threads within VR educational
    programs
  • Gerontology coursework/specialty
  • Interdisciplinary/interdepartmental gerontology
    coursework
  • Social gerontologists

32
Recommendations
  • Advertising/social networking
  • Consultation business recruitment, selection,
    training, accommodation, and promotion processes
    (Stensrud, 2007)
  • Attention to placement risk factors
  • Partnerships collaboration in service provision
    DOL Protocol

33
Future Trends
  • Assistive technology
  • Home modification (Smart Homes) and universal
    design
  • Telehealth
  • Managing chronic disease/disability
    management/employee retention
  • Phased retirement

34
Ponderables
  • Will VR join in a national campaign to promote
    older workers?
  • Will VR help to change the culture of
    retirement and national norms on old age and
    retirement?
  • Will VR seek to form collaborative relationships
    with other agencies devoted to an aging
    population, and, if so, which ones? Structure and
    nature of relationship? Umbrella?

35
Ponderables Continued
  • What unique training and incentives can VR offer
    this population?
  • Will VR be willing and able to accommodate a
    population who seeks part time, flexible hours?
    Will employers?
  • Will VR be able to handle the transferability
    needs of counselors? Would within-unit vocational
    evaluators fill this need?

36
Questions?
37
References
  • Email smithl3_at_auburn.edu
  • Website www.auburn.edu/smithl3/
  • Ms. Laura (Mimi) Smith
  • Department of Rehabilitation and Special
    Education
  • 1228 Haley Center
  • Auburn University, AL 36849
  • (334) 844-3557
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