Employment opportunities for older adults: Engineering design and research issues
A challenge facing the engineering community is to find ways to integrate older people into the labor force. Despite laws regarding age discrimination and compulsory retirement, older people's participation in the labor force is declining. Unless strategies are developed to keep older people in the workforce, the issues of economic dependency and intergenerational equity are likely to become formidable in the near future. There are a number of areas where engineering applications can enhance older adults' employment opportunities. These include training, workplace and equipment design, and job design. An overview of current knowledge regarding aging and work is provided. Gaps in the knowledge base are identified as areas for research. Examples of how engineering can contribute to the integration of older people into work settings are presented.