Aging workers

As fertility rates fall and life expectancy climbs, the average age of Canada’s population continues to rise. This has widespread implications for social policies and the world of work. IWH research explores these implications, such as the effects of aging on work ability, injury rates, injury and disease prevention, productivity, accommodation and return to work. It also looks at the workplace and social programs that will allow aging workers to remain at work in a healthy and productive way until they transition into retirement.

Featured

A large group of seniors looking at camera
At Work article

Understanding employment patterns among older workers in four countries

In many developed countries, including Canada, encouraging older workers to stay in the workforce is a common policy goal. But what do we know about current work participation patterns among people older than 65? A new study involving IWH looks at data in Canada, the U.K., Denmark and Sweden.
Published: October 1, 2019
Two workers at a window shutters manufacturing shop floor
At Work article

Despite pain and fatigue, older workers with chronic conditions want to work to age 65

Having a health condition or a chronic disease can be challenging for older workers, but it doesn't necessarily decrease their desire to work and retire at about the same age as healthy peers, finds an IWH study of retirement expectations.
Published: July 30, 2019
A large group of seniors looking at camera
At Work article

Understanding employment patterns among older workers in four countries

In many developed countries, including Canada, encouraging older workers to stay in the workforce is a common policy goal. But what do we know about current work participation patterns among people older than 65? A new study involving IWH looks at data in Canada, the U.K., Denmark and Sweden.
Published: October 2019
Canadian HR Reporter logo
IWH in the media

Chronic diseases not slowing down older workers

Personal health may be a factor for older workers in deciding when to retire, but it’s not as big a factor as previously thought, according to a new Institute for Work & Health study. Despite experiencing more pain and fatigue, older workers with arthritis, diabetes or both were no different from their healthy peers in their retirement plans, writes John Dujay.
Published: Canadian HR Reporter, August 2019
Two workers at a window shutters manufacturing shop floor
Research Highlights

Comparing the retirement expectations of older workers with and without chronic conditions

Workers with arthritis and diabetes, despite their health difficulties, have similar retirement plans as their healthy peers. Yet workers with chronic conditions are more likely than their healthy peers to report having retired previously and returned to work, often in part-time positions.
Published: August 2019
Two workers at a window shutters manufacturing shop floor
At Work article

Despite pain and fatigue, older workers with chronic conditions want to work to age 65

Having a health condition or a chronic disease can be challenging for older workers, but it doesn't necessarily decrease their desire to work and retire at about the same age as healthy peers, finds an IWH study of retirement expectations.
Published: July 2019
Logo of the Ontario Occupational Health Nurses Association
IWH in the media

Implications of an aging workforce for work injury, recovery, returning to work and remaining at work

As the average age of Canadian workers continues to rise, employers may wonder about the implications on work injury, recovery, return to work and remaining at work. Some may expect that risks of injury are higher among older workers, that their injuries are more severe, or that timelines to recover and return to work are longer. However, findings from recent studies, including several conducted at IWH, paint a more nuanced picture. This article by IWH summarizes the evidence.
Published: OOHNA Journal, April 2019
Journal article
Journal article
A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office
At Work article

Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports

Yes, older workers with diabetes or arthritis experience fatigue and pain. But they're not that different from healthy peers in how much they need, or use, workplace accommodations, an IWH study has found.
Published: February 2019
Journal article