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Workplace RERC


State of the Science Conference
September 15-16, 2005

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Supporting older workers at work: A conceptual framework

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  1. Supporting older workers at work: A conceptual framework
  2. A Canadian Scenario
  3. Outline
  4. Introduction
  5. Introduction
  6. Outline
  7. Current State of Aging
  8. Growth of the Elderly Population
  9. Outline
  10. Summary of the Prominent Theories of Aging
  11. Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging
  12. Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging - Genetic Mutation
  13. Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging - Cellular Waste Accumulation
  14. Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging - Wear and Tear

Slide 1 of 50

Supporting older workers at work: A conceptual framework

Presented by: Kent Gillin, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Candidate)
Co-author: Lynn Shaw Ph.D.
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada


Slide 2 of 50

A Canadian Scenario

Presentation Outline
A Canadian study examined the complexities of age relations at work. 76 female and 3 male garment workers of diverse ethnic background were interviewed during focus groups. The participants revealed that they were forced to retire or strongly encouraged to quit early due to cost reduction and ageism. Many of those retired were just 50 years of age. In addition, managers stated that they did not organize work routines to accommodate an aging workforce. Easier jobs were subcontracted. Managers admitted to wanting to be rid of the older workers and replace them with younger workers who would work for less income and with reduced injuries. (McMullin, 2001)


Slide 3 of 50

Outline

Part 1 - Current State of Our Aging Population
Part 2 - Contributions of Prominent Theories of Aging

  • Biological / Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological
  • Part 3 - Functional Ability, Aging and Productive Work


    Slide 4 of 50

    Introduction


    Understanding when a worker is too old to work poses a difficult moral and ethical dilemma for employees, employers and health care practitioners.

    This exploration into aging intends to clarify how and when a threshold of participation in productive work is reached.


    Slide 5 of 50

    Introduction

    Understanding when a worker is too old to work poses a difficult moral and ethical dilemma for employees, employers and health care practitioners.

    This exploration into aging intends to clarify what research has uncovered about older worker abilities.


    Slide 6 of 50

    Outline

    Part 1 - Current State of Our Aging Population
    Part 2 - Contributions of Prominent Theories of Aging

  • Biological / Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological
  • Part 3 - Functional Ability, Aging and Productive Work


    Slide 7 of 50

    Current State of Aging

  • Workers’ average age has risen over 2 years in the last decade (37 to 39).
  • Approximately 15 percent of the workforce was within 10 years of retirement age at the end of the last decade, and projections are that by 2011 nearly a fifth of baby-boomers will be at least 61.
  • Birth rates in have been lower for the last 30 years
  • This can only result in fewer young people entering the workforce to replace those getting close to retirement.
  • North American population age 65 years or more will triple in the next 45 years. Just 55 years ago the population of older adults was one-third this size (Munroe, 2004).

  • Slide 8 of 50

    Growth of the Elderly Population

  • Graph: A line graph shows the number of people in various ages groups between the years 1950 and 2030.
  • In 1950, there were about 9 million people age 65-74, about 4 million people age 75-84, and about 1 million people over age 85.
  • During the next 60 years, the numbers approximately double. By 2010, there will be about 16 million people age 65-74, about 10 million people age 75-84, and about 1 million people over age 85.
  • These numbers start increasing at an even faster rate so that within the subsequent 20 years, by 2030, the number of people age 75-84 will be over 30 million.

  • Slide 9 of 50

    Outline

    Part 1 - Current State of Our Aging Population
    Part 2 - Contributions of Prominent Theories of Aging

  • Biological / Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological
  • Part 3 - Functional Ability, Aging and Productive Work


    Slide 10 of 50

    Summary of the Prominent Theories of Aging

  • Biological / Physiological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological

  • Slide 11 of 50

    Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging

    Graphic: A list of theories is presented, and arrows show how they lead to various conditions that are related to aging. The theories are: Antagonistic Pleiotropy Theory, Waste Accumulation Theory, Free radical damage, Insulin resistance, Advanced Glycation (AGE), Telomeres and Hayflick, The Error Catastrophe Theory, Autoimmunity, Circadian Deregulation, and Evolutionary Theory. The conditions are genetic mutation, cellular waste accumulation, and wear and tear. These relationships are investigated in more detail in the next three slides.


    Slide 12 of 50

    Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging - Genetic Mutation

    Graphic: The following theories lead to genetic mutation:
  • Antagonistic Pleiotropy Theory
  • Free radical damage
  • Telomeres and Hayflick
  • The Error Catastrophe Theory
  • Evolutionary Theory

  • Slide 13 of 50

    Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging - Cellular Waste Accumulation

    Graphic: The following theories lead to cellular waste accumulation:
  • Waste Accumulation Theory
  • Free radical damage
  • Insulin resistance
  • Advanced Glycation (AGE)
  • Telomeres and Hayflick

  • Slide 14 of 50

    Prominent Biological/Physiological Theories of Aging - Wear and Tear

    Graphic: The following theories lead to wear and tear:
  • Advanced Glycation (AGE)
  • Autoimmunity
  • Circadian Deregulation


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