Vocational Rehabilitation for Seniors
March 16, 2020
You may not immediately think of vocational rehabilitation as something that would involve seniors. After all, this type of rehabilitation aimed at helping people who have disabilities to secure work, should they wish to. The fact is that some seniors benefit from intense medical supervision and supportive care, such as that provided in Congregate Living Health Facilities (CLHFs). CLHF homes help to provide seniors with ongoing care needs. Needs can include some help, which is similar to that supplied during vocational rehabilitation, such as help with adjusting to health conditions. However, other seniors can make a valuable contribution to the workforce if they receive the vocational rehabilitation that they need.
Why seniors now require vocational rehabilitationThe fact is that people far often need to work until they are older. If the economy is not to collapse under the demands of a graying population, people need to work for as long as possible, The result of this can seen in figures published in The Economist, which indicate that in the mid-1980s, 25% of American men aged 65-69 worked. Whereas, that figure is now approaching 40%. As far back as 2004, researchers were suggesting that there would be a significant increase in the number of people over the age of 65 applying for vocational rehabilitation in the following 25 years, thanks to the aging population and the need to continue working to a higher age. The shift towards an aging workforce has placed greater emphasis on the need for vocational rehabilitation, given that seniors often have disabilities that they have acquired through aging.
What is vocational rehabilitation?It's important to understand that vocational rehabilitation is not only available to seniors. This type of help is often more commonly sought by younger people who would more often consider being of working age. There are state vocational rehabilitation agencies across the country, and many of their services are included in Medicaid plans. As mentioned earlier in this article, more seniors are applying for vocational rehabilitation. This rehabilitation is a process that aims at helping people with various forms of disability to overcome barriers to employment. Many different healthcare professionals can be involved throughout the process. Depending on which version of the process is used, other professionals may also play a part by helping with issues such as advice on which type of employment is the right choice. Together, these professionals provide several different services, including:
- Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of individuals.
- Appraising the abilities of people.
- Setting goals for people to attain and staging interventions where necessary.
- Providing health advice.
- Dealing with the psychological issues that a disability can cause.
- Coordinating the process so that people receive the seamless service that they need.
- Supporting individuals when they are in employment.