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Distributor's Link Magazine Winter Issue 2014 / VOL 37 / NO.1


82 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Jennifer FitzPatrick Jennifer FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C is an author, speaker and educator. Founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., she has more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare. Jennifer is a frequent speaker at national and regional conferences and was an Adjunct Instructor at Johns Hopkins University. Her new book, “Your 24/7 Older Parent” answers the prayers of those dealing with the care of an elderly parent. For more information on Jennifer FitzPatrick’s speaking, please visit INTERGENERATIONAL WORKFORCES: UNDERSTANDING OLDER GENERATIONS AT WORK Mandatory retirement has been illegal in most industries for decades, but some managers are still reluctant to hire and retain workers older than 65. Frequently workers in this age group are characterized as inflexible, slower and reluctant to evolve with technology. But most employers find that today's older workers challenge these stereotypes and can be real assets. Biological and psychological changes occur as we get older. Each generation is also different sociologically from other age groups. Awareness of age-related differences can empower employers to capitalize on senior workers' positive attributes and consider making workplace adaptations for their limitations. Biological Age-Related Changes While most stereotypes about older adults are greatly exaggerated, many biological changes do take place both physically and cognitively. Nearly every organ and system in the body is a bit less efficient than it once was but this does not mean there is disease or disability. The stereotype that seniors can't hear or see well is false, but it is true that hearing and vision are not quite as sharp as they once were when we are younger. While Alzheimer's disease and dementia are not part of the normal aging process, tip of the tongue moments and slower reflex, reaction and recall times are. Psychological Age-Related Changes Psychologist Erik Erikson believed that older adults experience a crossroads in their life: a stage he called "ego integrity vs. despair". When a senior reviews his life thus far, and finds meaning in the way he has spent his time, this leads to wisdom and acceptance of his mortality or "ego integrity". A senior experiencing ego integrity has the potential to be a highly influential mentor in the workplace. Sociological Age-Related Changes Generationally, workers older than 65 are known for a strong work ethic. Even if there is not a significant financial incentive, they were raised in an era that idealized hard work. They are team-oriented and unlikely to leave coworkers in a bind. This age group has likely finished raising their families so they can be open to working more hours when necessary. They are known for honoring commitments and respecting authority. Sociologically, older workers are generally highly dedicated employees. Many seniors, particularly older women, are motivated by financial need. There are numerous advantages to deferring Social Security payments so many seniors want to put off collecting for as long as possible. Most older adults have also witnessed steep declines in their retirement accounts so there is a genuine need to supplement their income. Others simply did not adequately plan for retirement so they require additional income from a full or part time job. This age group also is typically good at interpersonal communication. Having worked for most of their careers without access to e-mail and texting, these workers have had to rely on their people skills to get things accomplished. They tend to also be more resourceful than younger generations who have come to rely only on the internet for research and problem-solving. please turn to page 159

THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 83 Distribution One announced it’s release of the most powerful wholesale distribution software to date! ERP redefines wholesale distribution with amazing new features all packed into this remarkable software system, including a stunning new user interface, ability to work with our mobile apps, true 64 bit support, enhanced security and search features. With the Progress Version 11 development platform we were able to build an ERP with a focus on the mobile workforce and their need for information. ERP features an all- new look, but is still packed with features people know - like the ease of sales order entry, financial management, and inventory and warehouse management. “The fusion of technology and supply chain management allows you to increase the ROI of your organization,” said Larry Ward, Distribution One’s President. “ERP can improve productivity, deliver more predictable revenue and make your team more successful.” Distribution One provides powerful software applications to help Wholesalers and Distributors run their businesses efficiently and profitably. The ERP software has many information management applications systems designed specifically for wholesalers and distributors. It includes: Order Entry, Accounts Receivable and Payable, CRM, Inventory Management, Point of Sale, General Ledger, Purchasing, Sales Analysis, plus many other modules. For more information contant Distribution One by Tel: 856-380- 0626, Fax: 956-222-0061 or visit them online at


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