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Supported Retirement
Project SCE LifeWorks has partnered with research and education institutions and government and community organizations to discover and demonstrate important information and best practises in the field. 

The study consisted of three sub-studies.

Sub-study 1
was an experimental design which included ten participants in a later life planning intervention, and ten members of a comparison group that were not participants in the intervention.

Sub-study 2 incorporated a single subject research design which assessed the decision-making skills of four participants, who were members of the intervention in Sub-study 1.

Sub-study 3 was a social validation study. Intervention:

The intervention consisted of an adaptation of the leisure education
model referred to in the Supported Leisure Project (see Supported
Leisure Project, Intervention description). The adaptation incorporated themes and modules on "retirement" and "later life options". Results:

Results from sub-study 1 demonstrated that the participants had significantly greater leisure satisfaction following the Retirement Plalnning Process, as compared to the control group.

The results also indicated that the experimental group did not have significantly greater life satisfaction or less leisure constraints, as compared to the control group following the intervention.

However, the experimental group did show improvement from
pre to post-test in terms of their life satisfaction, and a decrease in leisure constraints.

The introduction of the Supported Retirement Process resulted in a variety of lifestyle changes for the participants in this study.

Those changes can be categorized into four types: 
· Full Retirement
· Partial Retirement
· Modification of daily activities within the same day program
· Enhanced awareness of later life options with no
significant changes to daily activities. 

Of the ten participants who took part in the program, 2 fully retired, 2 partially retired, 3 had changes made to the activities in their day program, and 3 made no significant changes. Of the ten participants in the experimental group, one had a significant decrease in his monthly costs following the SRP, one had a significant increase, and the rest remained the same.

When considered in relation to the lifestyle changes reported, these results suggest that the Supported Retirement Project was able to facilitate the later life choices of the participants in a cost effective manner. Independent decision-making increased in three of the four single-subject design participants. The social validity component indicated that both parents and service providers found all four individuals to have become much more assertive, and knowledgeable decision-makers as a result of the study. 

The issue of systemic barriers to later life planning was explored. A number of themes arose which are: 
· Lack of decision-making skills for individuals with mental disabilities.
· Separation of residential and day program funding.
· Staff turnover in residential and day programs.
· Funding for retirement services.
· Education of providers of services for non-disabled older adults.
· Overfocus on structure. 

Summary and Recommendations: 
The results suggest that the Supported Retirement Program is an effective process for addressing the later life needs of older adults with mental disabilities.

The program resulted in some significant lifestyle changes for some participants in the pilot program. It also facilitated increased leisure satisfaction and independent decision-making skills for the older adults with mental disabilities in the study.

The results of the social validity sub-study suggest that the older adults with disabilities who took part in the study and other key constituents believe that the goals, process and outcomes of the SRP contribute to meeting the needs of older adults with mental disabilities. Results indicated that the SRP was cost effective in that the changes that were facilitated for the participants in the study did not result in increased costs. 

A number of recommendations have been identified as a result of reviewing all of the data from this study. 

· Later life planning should be initiated with adults with mental disabilities between 30 and 40 years of age, rather than between ages 50 and 60. This will reduce the problem of trying to help individuals plan for life changes while they are experiencing declining health.

· Instruction on decision-making and planning must be conducted with people with mental disabilities early on in their lives. Such training should take place in schools, residences and in vocational settings. This will ensure that individuals with mental disabilities have the skill to engage in transition planning for all phases of life, including later life.

· Funding for individuals in day and residential services should be more flexible, so that older adults who choose to have less structured daily activities can have some of their day time needs met through residential services.

· Family Services should consider targetting key agencies in Winnipeg to provide broad-based supports for older adults. These agencies should receive funding to support these specialized services. As the needs of this population grow, these agencies could then become consultants to other agencies needing to provide such services.

·  Family Services should appoint a minimum of one Family Services Worker who is responible for coordination of later lfie options for individuals identified as needing support in Winnipeg. The job description of this person could be modeled after the job description of the Retirement Planning Coordinator for the Supported Retirement Project.

· Service providers must work to enhance communication between residential and day service programs. One method of enhancing communication might be through the creation of a coordinating committee on aging.

· Training of service providers for people with mental disabilities related to the later life needs of older adults with mental disabilites must be ongoing. In addition, similar training must continue for generic service providers for older adults. 
Retirement Project 

February 1995
to June 1996 

· SCE LifeWorks
· Dr. Michael J. Mahon
(Principal Investigator)
of the Health, Leisure
and Human
Research Institute
· Manitoba Family
· Generic mainstream
senior service
· Service providers
for adults with mental

· Manitoba Family
· Sister Bertha Bauman
Research Awards
· The Health, Leisure &
Human Performance
Research Institute Small
Grants Competition 

Published Articles:
The purpose of this
study was to assess
the efficacy of a leisure education-based later life planning model for older adults with mental disabilities.