Research Looks at Barriers to Employment by Older Adults

Research is underway to better understand the barriers older adults experience when they are looking for work.

“Many older Nova Scotians are still working or actively looking for work. Our economy needs all the workers we can provide in order to thrive,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Seniors. “We want to create working environments that are welcoming, inclusive and supportive of all ages, including older adults.”

The Nova Scotia Centre on Aging at Mount Saint Vincent University is doing the research for government. The Department of Seniors and the centre signed a memorandum of understanding that provides guidance and direction to support research activities to inform government policies on aging.

There are two phases to the initiative. The first is a literature review to understand the issues and research about the barriers. It will be followed by further study of sectors in the province and interviews with employers, older adults and other stakeholders.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with government to generate evidence on a topic that stems from the work we did last year to support the action plan,” said Janice Keefe, director, Nova Scotia Centre on Aging. “Understanding ways to keep older adults attached to the labour force is important from a labour market perspective, and on an individual level by helping people to stay socially connected and utilizing their skills and expertise.”

SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population was launched in March. The plan focuses on helping older Nova Scotians stay involved and connected to their communities, promoting healthy living and keeping older adults in the workforce. The plan is available at