SRV in the News: The upside of delayed retirement
A recent article in Maclean’s spoke about the benefits of delaying retirement and staying longer in the workforce. Featured in the business section, the article speaks mainly about the financial reasons for working past the usual retirement age (65 in Canada).
The article raises several important SRV issues however. Firstly, the inherent value of the worker role. In the SRV monograph Wolfensberger (1998) lists some of the benefits that are accorded to those who hold valued roles: “They are allowed, enabled or even requested to live in valued settings, engage in valued activities, and join valued groups; people cherish their relationships with them, and even seek them out and want to be “seen with” them (p. 44). He goes on to state that people who hold valued roles are much more likely to come into contact with other valued people. This is certainly true for the majority of people in the workforce today.
Secondly, the work role can also be seen as a protective measure for those who are at risk of falling into devalued roles. As I’ve previously written about, the elderly are at great risk of being seen in devalued roles (burden of charity, patient, sick or dying, etc.) and negatively stereotyped because of this. Staying in the work role into old age would do much to counteract negative stereotypes and help prevent a possible rapid slide into devalued roles.
At the moment, a debate rages in Canada whether the age of mandatory retirement should be raised from 65 to 67. See an interesting editorial on the topic here.
The work role has been much discussed in disability related circles as well. See the December 2009 SRV Journal for several articles related to this topic.
As always, I welcome your comments, critiques, stories, etc. on the topic.
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: elders, news media, retirement, seniors, Social Role Valorization, SRV, valued roles, Wolf Wolfensberger