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Aging and Work

, 456 pages

3 halftones, 43 line drawings

August 2009



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Aging and Work

Issues and Implications in a Changing Landscape

Both jobs and the workforce have changed dramatically in recent years. Manufacturing has given way to a technology-driven, information-based workplace. People are working until later in life and the pool of workers is growing more diverse. Flexible hours and telecommuting are increasingly common. This volume addresses the challenges confronting an aging labor force as it deals with profound shifts in employment and organizations and what these changes mean for society.

Drawing from the varied fields of gerontology, psychology, public policy, occupational health and safety, human factors engineering, and business, the contributors summarize what is known about aging and employment, discuss likely future issues, and raise specific questions for researchers and policy makers to address to prepare places of employment and the workforce for a vastly different tomorrow.

The first section explains employment and demographic trends from an academic perspective and includes information about altered work patterns among older employees. The second section provides both public policy and business-oriented views on how to better integrate aging employees into the workplace. In the third section, the contributors explore how technology, new employment practices, and entrepreneurship play into the new and evolving nature of work. Section four examines employers' expectations for older employees, and the fifth section assesses current ergonomic standards and the adjustments necessary to accommodate an aging labor pool.

This multidisciplinary, comprehensive assessment of the state of aging and work addresses a wide range of topics relevant to academic researchers and practitioners, government and industry leaders, and workers and managers in the public and private sectors.

Sara J. Czaja is the director of the Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology, co-director of the Center on Aging, and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Miami. Joseph Sharit is a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Miami.

"A comprehensive, well-written volume addressing the numerous issues created by the interface of an aging workforce with the array of economic, global, information and technology-driven changes occurring in society. The conclusion provides an excellent summary of the volume and an outline of needed future directions for research and policy changes. This insightful volume will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners concerned about the complex issues surrounding work and an aging population."

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