When talking about demographic forces relating to baby boomers in conjunction with senior living operators, most of the industry thinks of prospective residents. However, there have been two different reports suggesting that baby boomers are going to do more than offer an opportunity for increased occupancy. They may be key in putting feet on solid ground and help to solve the industry’s biggest challenge, which is to recruit and retain their workers.
Furthermore, if solutions are now needed by operators of the baby boomers for future residents, then the answers are also needed now in relation to hiring and hanging onto baby boomers and to stand up against ageism within the workplace.
Baby boomers fall between the ages of 53 years of age to 73 years of age this year. Traditionally, our 65+ demographic is correlated with retirement and a decreasing workforce. Fast forward today and according to Glassdoor, the 65+ workforce is growing, being one of eight of the workforce trends that have been identified for 2020. During the following decade, people who have reached the age of 65 and over are going to be making up the fastest-growing segments of our workforce, according to what Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D., chief economist wrote in “Job & Hiring Trends for 2020” magazine through the company.
Chamberlain also stated that “their jobs are less demanding physically, workers are healthier, will come more apt to need their retirement income than previous generations. All of which are now keeping employees working more years in today’s world.
Furthermore, the projection of the United States’ labor force increasing during the next ten years by 5.5% in segments such as an increase of 61% being by those who are 65+ in the workforce, according to Chamberlain. Senior living facilities will not be the only place to have openings that need to be filled.
According to Chamberlain, the employees will have some good news, which is regarding older workers having a deeper knowledge with some professional contacts, whereas the newer workers may have drastically less. Also, many of the older workers are eager to learn new skills. Chamberlain also stated that “Cognitive diversity can help to be boosted by a workforce that consists of a being more age-diverse. It can help to bring more valuable and diverse viewpoints. Which is shown by researchers to sometimes drive a team’s creativity, including innovation.”
He went on to say, “It will also be the responsibility of the employees for coming up with newer recruiting strategies, including addressing ageism.”
“The issue covering age bias has received less attention over recent years. Although workers globally have had to deal with issues regarding gender identity as well as ethnic diversity within the workplace. All of which is expected to be changing after the year 2020,” according to Chamberlain.
There is a myth which sometimes is used to fuel ageism within the workplace, that is by keeping the older workers as employees could be hurting the career advancement of many younger workers, however, this has not been found to be true by researchers, in fact, he stated that, “they have found this to be just the opposite. This is something that the HR teams could use to communicate with younger workers throughout the upcoming decade.” Researchers have corroborated on the trend that was cited within the Glassdoor report, as well as made some suggestions on its continuation in the generations to come.
The ‘Harris Poll’ has conducted a survey which is referred to as the new ‘unretirement’ survey for the TD Ameritrade company and according to the results, there are a lot of Americans who reach the age of 40 are making plans to physically work to earn an income after retiring. “Due to the thought of a longer life span, many are continuing to work even after they retire. Many say it is to help in meeting with their monthly bills, and others say it helps them to keep focused, healthy, and have a sharper mind,” according to TD Ameritrade.
The Survey suggests that there will be a lot of people who change their mind about working after retirement once that time comes. However, for the time being, it shows that there is a higher percentage of the younger age groups having plans to continue working even after they have retired. Additionally, the survey also stated that around 92% of people who are aged between 40 and 49 had planned to continue working while those where were aged between 50 to 59 is 86%. As the ages go up, this percentage goes down. Those who are aged between 60 to 69 stated that 66% of them would continue to work while only 52% of those who were aged 70 to 79 stated that they would continue to work. This averages out to people who are in the 40 and 50 range of age to state that they would work 20 hours each week in a paid position after they have retired, while those who are in the 70 age range stated that they would only work 10 hours each week in the same position.
This is a trend that may affect planning by Senior living operators for prospective residents. The units and community commons would need to be built to have various amenities and features that would be able to accommodate the newer reality of any resident who may be working at that time.
While you are deciding to draw up some blueprints, you will also need to look at human resource handbooks as well in order to get the correct idea of how working seniors and building a senior living community will play out in the long run.
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