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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Older Adults and Work in the 21st Century

Older Adults and Work in the 21st Century

(p.181) 15 Older Adults and Work in the 21st Century
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Sheila H. Akabas

Lauren B. Gates

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies who older working adults are by legislative definition, workplace policy, and life experience. It examines their contact with work in relation to the various statuses they may occupy, including transitional retirement, total retirement, and continuing employment, and how this varies with individual characteristics and other factors affecting withdrawal from the labor force due to age. It then suggests what social workers can do in order to help older workers achieve the connection to a work role that they may desire, or to satisfy a successful termination of that role if that is their choice. The chapter argues that it is not possible to serve the needs of older adults without understanding their work histories, what has influenced the status they now hold with regard to work, what their preferences are in relation to work, and how to help them achieve their desired state, as well as how the workplace culture and social policy act as an influential context for individual experience.

Keywords:   aging, elderly, working adults, social work practice

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