Understanding the employment needs and experiences of baby boomers with arthritis and diabetes
Reasons for the study
Canadians are living longer, and our longer life expectancy and the disappearance of mandatory retirement at age 65 means that many Canadians are making decisions about when, or even whether, they should stop working as they get older. However, we lack information about how characteristics of many chronic health conditions that arise with age may create unique challenges for workers. This includes the challenges associated with conditions like arthritis and diabetes, which are episodic and unpredictable in terms of their symptoms. This study was an important first step in understanding the interplay between health and work among workers 50-67 years old with an episodic health condition.
Objectives of the study
- To describe the extent to which remaining employed is a priority among baby boomers as they age
- To examine the experiences and perceived effects of working with an episodic health condition, as well as factors that act as barriers or facilitate working
- To examine characteristics of episodic health conditions (e.g. symptom unpredictability, invisibility) and their association with work outcomes (e.g. job disruptions, absenteeism)
Related scientific publications
- Gignac MA, Smith PM, Ibrahim S, Kristman VL, Beaton DE, Mustard C. Retirement expectations of older workers with arthritis and diabetes compared with those of workers with no chronic diseases. Canadian Journal on Aging. 2019;38(3):296-314. doi:10.1017/S0714980818000685. (Open access)
- Gignac MA, Kristman VL, Smith PM, Beaton DE, Badley EM, Ibrahim S, Mustard C. Are there differences in workplace accommodation needs, use and unmet needs among older workers with arthritis, diabetes and no chronic conditions? Examining the role of health and work context. Work, Aging & Retirement. 2018;4(4):381-398. doi:10.1093/workar/way004. (Open access)
- Gignac MA, Ibrahim S, Smith PM, Kristman VL, Beaton DE, Mustard C. The role of sex, gender, health factors, and job context in workplace accommodation use among men and women with arthritis. Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 2018;62(4):490-504. doi:10.1093/annweh/wxx115 . (Open access)
Related interviews and articles
- Chronic diseases not slowing down older workers. Canadian HR Reporter. August 28, 2019. Available from: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/wellness-mental-health/chronic-diseases-not-slowing-down-older-workers/304579
- Despite pain and fatigue, older workers with chronic conditions want to work to age 65. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 97, Summer 2019.
- Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 95, Winter 2019.
- Sex/gender analysis: Men and women with arthritis have same needs at work, but not the same supports . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 93, Summer 2018.
Related research summaries
- Comparing the retirement expectations of older workers with and without chronic conditions. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, August 2019.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research