The development of a community-based occupational therapy retirement transition program for first responders and their families

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The aim of this study was to develop a retirement transition program outline for first responders. The study followed a design of hermeneutic phenomenology in Phase 1 and participatory research in Phase 2. Data was collected during six online focus group discussions. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis in Phase 1 and content analysis in Phase 2. In Phase 2, the study design used a participatory research approach, where social workers and occupational therapists joined forces together with retired first responders to create a retirement program outline. Phase 1 data yielded four themes: The Supersuit, Civilian, The Door Shuts, and Staying Busy. Phase 2 culminated with the development of a 12-session retirement transition program outline. The retirement program needs to be manualized and piloted for effectiveness testing in occupational therapy practice. The study concluded with the recognition that retired first responders and their family members can benefit from occupational therapy services during retirement transition. Interprofessional collaboration with social workers can enrich such community practice.

Retirement, Retirement transition, First responders, Law enforcement, Fire authority, Occupational therapy, Occupational adaptation