The supported retirement program, the social validity of later life planning for older adults with mental disabilities

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Solmundson, Carrie K.
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An increasing need to deal with retirement issues facing older adults with mental disabilities has been identified. In response, the Supported Retirement Program (SRP) for older adults with mental disabilities was developed, to facilitate the later life needs of this group. The purpose of this study was to assess the social validity of the SRP by determining the extent to which the goals, process and outcomes were considered important and useful by key stakeholders. Consumers, service providers, government representatives, family members and generic senior service providers were surveyed and/or interviewed. Respondents rated the importance of the eleven goals of the SRP using a three point Likert-type scale. Following each goal statement, further information was gathered concerning respondents reasons for their rating of each particular goal. Overall, stakeholders considered the goals of the program to be very important. Qualitative data was gathered through open ended interviews concerning the SRP process,and was analysed using a constant comparison method. In general, those interviewed indicated that the process was very beneficial to participants, however, some minor variation occurred across groups. The final component of the study measured stakeholders' level of satisfaction with respect to the outcomes of the SRP. Using a three point Likert-type scale satisfaction was assessed. The overall satisfaction score for the groups indicated a high level of satisfaction with the outcomes of the SRP, with some variation in rating across the groups.