247760 An Investigation of the Meaning of Work and its Translation into Meaningful Retirement for Elders with Intellectual Disabilities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:48 AM

Joan E. Dacher, PhD, GNP-C , Nursing Department, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY
Barbara B. Pieper, PhD, RN , Nursing Department, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY
A discussion of retirement options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) is relatively new. As individuals with I/DD are living longer, members of this vulnerable population are more likely to enter into a retirement phase of life, much like the general population of older adults. Few if any data are available to inform the planning, policy agenda and resource allocation for this new phenomenon.

During the first phase of pilot work, experience was gained in interviewing this unique population group, exploring data collection methods ( video)and, identifying fruitful interview techniques and questions to elicit rich data. Additionally, a focus group was conducted with the supportive employment site management team to elicit and make explicit these individuals' assumptions about work and retirement.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the lived experience and meaning of work for a group of 20 individuals (consumers), as the first step in partnering with them and the agencies that support them, to create meaningful retirement options. The meaning of work ( as opposed to retirement, a much more abstract concept) is a way of gaining access to the thoughts and feelings about an activity they engage in daily. the research questions for this study was: What is the lived experience of work? Findings describe unique data collection strategies, the meaningful activities shared along with the implications of findings as organizations plan for meaningful retirement for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the meaning of work for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). 2.Evaluate investigative strategies for use with a unique vulnerable population. 3.Identify policy and planning activities that may be required for I/DD population as they age.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My primary clinical and rearch work with is with individuals with intellectual and developmental disability at Rensselaer County Chapter NYSARC, NYS.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.