Loss of work: the impact of retirement

“For many people work provides an important source of self-esteem and achievement, or an outlet for creativity. It may be a key element of identity, in that major elements of the way in which self is defined and experienced is in terms of work. […]

The impact of retirement in old age can only be understood with reference to the meaning of work to the person. […] for those whose identity is completely bound up with work, for those whose life seems without meaning in the absence of work and for those without family or a social network, a future without work and all that it afforded seems grim. These people may be vulnerable to the pathological effects of the grief of the loss of work.”

Hoofdstuk (blz. 83) in Mental health care for elderly people, auteurs Ian J. Norman en Sally J. Redfern, Harcourt Publishers Ltd, november 1996.