CMSA Today - Issue 8, 2015 - (Page 7)

President's Letter The Advantages of an Aging Workforce BY KATHLEEN FRASER, RN-BC, MSN, MHA, CCM, CRRN W elcome to CMSA Today. This issue is dedicated to care coordination workforce perspectives. How do we maintain and engage a vital workforce, and what are the barriers and issues that are a hindrance? Our workforce is diverse whether it be in the settings in which we work, titles we are given, or the roles we play in case management. We have a workforce shortage that is increasing. How do we train registered nurses and licensed social workers to work in case management in shorter timeframes? And how can we reach out to health care student programs to communicate the viability of a career in case management? CMSA can answer these questions for you and your organizations. One area I want to specifically address, which recently struck a chord with me, occurred a few week ago. I was traveling to present at the New England Chapter's annual conference and they specifically requested my presentation cover the aging workforce. My flight was delayed nearly four hours due to weather issues and as I sat in the airport, which by the way was on my birthday, the irony came to me: I was having my 60th birthday in the Houston airport heading up to present on case management and the aging workforce. And I was that aging workforce. Happy birthday to me! "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne The aging workforce, aka The Silver Tsunami, refers to the rise in the median age of the United States workforce to levels unseen since the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. It is projected that by the year 2020, about 25 percent of the U.S. workforce will be composed of older workers (age 55 and over). In order to effectively work with the aging workforce, it is important to become more aware of generational differences and tailor your approach to accommodate those differences. The two generations covered in the aging workforce are a small amount of the "When we see problems as opportunities for growth, we tap a source of knowledge within ourselves which carries us through." - Marsha Sinetar Traditionalist/Veteran, born 1925-1945. Ninety-five percent of this generation is retired or working reduced areas. Major events in their lives were World War II, the great depression, and the New Deal. Then came the baby boomers, of which I am a member, born 1946-1964. More babies were born in 1946 than ever before; 3.4 million, which is 20 percent more than in 1945. This was the beginning of the so-called "baby boom." When the boom finally tapered off in 1964, there were 76.4 million baby boomers in the United States. They made up almost 40 percent of the nation's population. Our major events were the Beatles (Paul being my favorite), a man landing on the moon, and Dr. Martin Luther King. According to the National Council on Compensation (NCCI), older workers do not experience a higher rate of injury than their younger counterparts. However, there is a higher incidence of falls, and a higher incidence of rotator cuff, knee injuries, and lower back complaints of pain. Hip fractures are of the greatest concern due to the critical nature of the injury. The traditionalists and baby boomers require more treatment, and cost of medicals are 50 percent greater. There are also higher indemnity costs. Average days off for older employees is 66 days, while younger employees only 53 days. And due to age, there are increased comorbidities. Chronic conditions associated with age make treatment more complex. The workplace fatality rate for older workers is three times higher than that of younger employees. Of all fatal occupational injuries in 2005, older workers accounted for 26.4 percent, despite only comprising 16.4 percent of the workforce at the time. This is more pronounced for workers over the age of 65. There are, however, definite advantages of an aging workforce. We have a great work ethic. We have a can-do attitude, strong loyalty, a reservoir of knowledge, low rate of absenteeism, and a low rate of risk-taking behavior. According to the Bureau of Labor, productivity is increased at worksites where there is a higher percentage of employees over 55 years old. Having a multigenerational workforce allows the generations to learn from each other, which maximizes workplace potential and RTW. "Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it." - Lou Houltz Case manager workplace survival skills are to recognize your worth, keep your sense of humor, keep things in perspective, embrace change, stay connected to the industry with CMSA membership, and always have a plan B (or C or D). And take my philosophy: "The pessimist may be right in the long run, but the optimist has a better time during the trip." Kathleen Fraser, RN-BC, MSN, MHA, CCM, CRRN President, CMSA National Board of Directors 2014-2016 Kathleen Fraser is the president of CMSA National, and a past president of Houston/Gulf Coast CMSA Chapter. She has over 35 years of nursing experience, and more than 21 years of case management experience with 20 years in workers' compensation. Fraser has worked in acute hospital, long-term care, and insurance managed care. She can be reached at kathleen.fraser@zurichna.com. Issue 8 * 2015 CMSA TODAY 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 8, 2015

The Advantages of an Aging Workforce
ASSOCIATION NEWS
CMSA CORPORATE PARTNERS
The Journey to Caseload Management
Featured Resource: Need More Resources on Caseloads?
Attracting and Engaging Tomorrow’s Workforce
Featured Resource: CMSA’s State of the Industry Survey 16
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

CMSA Today - Issue 8, 2015

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