Posted by suzanne on Jan 4, 2021
During the pandemic, there have been on-going labour force shortages in healthcare with a large demand for nurses, personal support workers and physicians, as well as cleaning staff.
Staff shortages make it difficult to provide patient-centred care in hospitals and Long-term Care (LTC) homes. There are a variety of surveys and news reports on the crisis in healthcare staffing. One recent survey found that 95% of LTC homes reported a shortage in staff. In response to this survey, many healthcare professionals also stated that residents were not being properly fed and hydrated.
Unfortunately this fall, staff and residents in LTC are getting sick from Covid-19 just like they did in the spring of 2020. This creates more pressure on our healthcare system.
Healthcare staff are feeling the heavy burden. They are asking for assistance as Covid-19 infections increase.
Retirees are taking up the call. They want to help and are returning to work to provide care during Covid-19. Marg Miller is among them.
It’s time to develop formal return-to-work programs for mature workers who retire and have the knowledge and skills required to make a difference in the workplace. These professionals are making a difference during a time of great need.
Why isn’t there a provincial/territorial program to help them with the return-to-work?
Posted by suzanne on May 15, 2020
There is a need for more medical professionals to deal with Covid-19, and Quebec has asked for additional help. Sixty retired doctors and 12 respiratory therapists have answered the call for assistance during the pandemic. The Ministry of Health gave special authorization in order for them to resume their practice.
In addition, the Ontario government asked anyone with a medical background to step forward in an effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The premier asked for individuals to help our healthcare heroes and the province launched a portal to people to match skilled workers with healthcare institutions and agencies.
Some professionals are postponing their retirement to assist during the pandemic. The postponement of retirement makes mature workers seem like a contingent workforce that is available to meet fluctuations within supply and demand. What are the implications for individuals, communities and society at large with this type of arrangement?
Posted by suzanne on May 11, 2020
Sadly, Jerry Stiller died of natural causes at age 92. He played the hilarious Frank Costanza, father to George, on Seinfeld. This role was his Third Act, following a very successful career in various other roles.
Jerry Stiller began this role on Seinfeld at age 70. He shared how he came to play the role and enter this Third Act.
He wasn’t too sure about the role; however, similar to other working men and women in their 70′s today, he really needed the work because he was unemployed. Happily, he made the role his own and will be fondly remembered for it. This role also led to a new opportunity on another show called King of Queens, rejuvenating Stiller’s career during his Third Act.
He was wonderful. He could make us all laugh and he will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 24, 2019
When we think about health in later life, much attention is on illness and chronic conditions. Research has often focused on illness and disease in later life, overemphasizing this as part of aging when it is possible for individuals to manage health issues and maintain a positive perspective on aging.
Older adults are healthier than in previous generations. In addition, life expectancy has increased significantly over the past 100 years. In the past, people would not live into their 60s, 70s or 80s. For example, my grandfather passed away just shy of his 100th birthday.
Many factors influence longevity. Research has discovered protective genes and environmental factors that influence life expectancy and longevity.
People continue to live with chronic health conditions such as diabetes. Individuals can manage different health issues while continuing to work, volunteer and provide caregiving to others. These activities are meaningful to individuals, families, communities and society in general. Fulfilling and satisfying activities provide broad health benefits such as belonging, social interaction and a sense of purpose. All of this contributes to mental health while keeping individuals connected to their communities.
More research should examine these protective health factors during later life rather than focusing solely on the health issues and risks.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 28, 2017
People are sometimes interested in mentoring opportunities in their community. A mentor is someone with experience, knowledge and skill who provides guidance to someone. A mentor helps others develop and grow to their full potential.
Mentoring may be part of your redirection journey.
Being a mentor is a powerful role because of the possibility of having a large influence on someone and assisting them in a meaningful way. It is very exciting to be a part of someone else’s success and achievement.
Where can mentoring opportunities be found?
It takes time to research and find mentoring opportunities. Here are three tips.
1. First, assess what skills and expertise you have to provide to someone. Where will you be most useful and valuable as a mentor? Find organizations and associations where you can use your skills and expertise. Contact them and find out more about what they do and how they develop and train new members or new hires.
2. Mentoring can provide benefits to both the mentor and protege. It is a teaching and learning opportunity for both individuals. While the mentoring relationship is mutual, usually the emphasis is placed on what the proteges gain. In fact, a common bit of wisdom is that mentors walk three steps behind and keep their protege in the limelight. This is a lovely way of emphasizing the importance of helping the protege to shine. In other words, mentors receive accolades for their skill at guiding, counselling and advising while cheering and applauding the protege. In addition, outcomes related to protege achievement are usually measured in a formal mentoring program. More recent work has begun to examine mentor outcomes and goals. This is an interesting direction for research.
3. It may be possible to leverage a mentoring role into a paid opportunity. This may take time and negotiation; however, sometimes an organization requires a teacher/mentor in a formal role to guide and nurture skills and knowledge development in the younger generation. If you find the right fit and prove your value to an organization, you might find this type of role both personally and professionally rewarding.
Posted by suzanne on Nov 5, 2017
People sometimes ask me, “Are there ways to enhance motivation?” It can be difficult to keep trying to find new work opportunities or your ‘redirection’ when there are significant barriers and obstacles in the way.
It is important to find ways to motivate yourself to reach toward your goals and objectives. What are the best ways to enhance motivation?
Here are six tips:
- Set your Ikigai. Ikigai is pronounced ‘ee-kee-guy’ and is your reason for being, or your reason to get up in the morning. This is a Japanese term that I learned after reading Neil Pasricha’s book The Happiness Equation. An Ikigai is like the ‘la raison d’être’ in French. Write out your Ikigai. Put it where you can see it first thing every morning.
- Set small, measurable goals or objectives. Write them down. Then, track your progress on a weekly basis.
- Choose a mantra. Use a mantra, motto or quote that connects to your goals and speaks to you. The mantra can motivate and help spur change. It points to where you are going. Pick a mantra that makes you want to reach your goals and keep moving forward.
- Select a touchstone, an image to ground and inspire you. Choose a visual image or object that makes you want to keep striving towards your goals.
- A social network can be a good source of support and encouragement. Share your goals with your family and closest friends, or more publicly with colleagues, friends, neighbours and your broader social circle or network.
- Get out and spend time everyday with nature. This regularly creates reflective time in your life to help you design, review and evaluate goals and to think about your objectives.
Posted by suzanne on Sep 30, 2017
The workforce is aging. This is a critical business issue and organizations are paying closer attention.
With this new demographic shift in the workplace, the talent management and career development of mature workers must be redesigned. These are two new emerging and interconnected issues that are discussed in my latest book chapter.
I co-authored Talent Management and Older Workers: Later Life Career Development, Chapter 6 of Ageing, Organisations and Management, with Victoria Rougette (see pages 113 – 140). Here is a short description of the chapter:
“The Canadian workforce is ageing and there is greater labor force participation among older adults. These unprecedented shifts require business and industry to examine the talent management of older workers while considering their career development. In fact, a top strategic issue facing organisations is the talent management of the ageing workforce such as the recruitment, retention, training and development, and career progression of older workers. This chapter examines the career development of older workers and talent management policy in organisations through a critical lens in order to shift the discourse surrounding work and ageing. This approach can support the labor force participation of older workers and their career development needs while also strengthening talent management within organisations.”
The new book, Ageing, Organisations and Management, edited by I. Aaltio, J. Helm Mills and A. Mills and published by Palgrave Macmillan, is now available.
This edited book examines business, organizations and work with a focus on aging. The chapters are written by scholars from Europe, North America and Australia. Other chapters are entitled: Age Management in Organizations: The Perspective of Middle-Aged Employees; Reifying Age-Related Employment Problems Through the Constructions of the “Problematic” Older and Younger Worker; and Old Age as a Market Advantage: The Example of Staffing Agencies in Sweden.
Posted by suzanne on Feb 1, 2017
Older adults are continuing to work into their later years. They work for meaning, purpose, engagement, stimulation…and a paycheque.
Some individuals retire, then decide it is time to go back to work.
This is a beautiful video telling the story of one woman who retired, then decided to keep working into her later years.
Mature and experienced workers have a lot to offer. It is challenging and rewarding to redirect into new occupational pursuits.
Posted by suzanne on Aug 29, 2016
Work and occupation are important across the life course. It is a great thrill to share the most recent research on work and aging at the upcoming CAG annual scientific and educational meeting to be held in Montreal, Quebec. At this year’s conference, I am chairing two Symposia on work and aging. I have invited some esteemed scholars to present their work. The Symposia are to be held on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016.
During the first Symposium, I will be discussing the Redirection Project. During the second Symposium, I am sharing the documentary film Redirection: Movers, Shakers and Shifters which helps bring key issues from my Redirection Project to a broader audience.
Symposium I: Policy Imperatives for Later Life Work
It is very exciting to have scholars presenting on issues surrounding work and aging and gratifying to see this much attention devoted to work and occupation as people age at CAG. As a broad gerontological topic, work and aging is particularly relevant and timely as the large cohort of baby boomers approach later life and gain their own perspective on being mature and experienced workers.
Posted by suzanne on May 25, 2016
This trend is occurring for many reasons. Some people cannot afford to retire. They need to pay bills. They need to be gainfully employed past traditional retirement age. They have not saved enough to retire. They are in debt. In other words, they cannot retire and live on a fixed income.
CBC Radio’s The Current highlighted the challenges of some of these individuals. Listen to the podcast.
Other people want to continue working. They gain a great deal from their paid work. For example, work provides self worth and self-esteem, mental stimulation, physical activity and social relationships. Some of these individuals might have retirement savings, so income generation is viewed as a benefit but it is not the primary motivation. They might be professionals who are highly educated. They believe they have more to contribute; they are not ready to retire.
When I started conducting the Redirection Project and investigating later life career development, career shift and career extension, I recognized that there is a dichotomy among older workers. Some must work; some want to work. It is great to hear from older adults about their diverse experiences (and the surveys are still available for participation). Both of these experiences are important to understand; hence, I developed the on-line surveys to reflect both sets of circumstances. The fact is that socio-economic circumstances have changed a great deal since the retirement system was developed.
Indeed, paid work during later life is important. Paid work represents many things to individuals. Motivations for later life paid work are complex. This new trend is a big shift from the previous model of retirement. It is a big shift within workplaces as well. Policy to address this social change must be carefully handed.
This is why the qualitative and quantitative datasets collected through the Redirection Project are critical for gaining a better understanding of later life career development and employment experiences and informing social policy, organizational programs and career development practice. For more information about the Redirection Project, please visit www.MyRedirection.com.