Rehabilitation Seminar, Day I (notes to self)
Today was the first day of the two day National Rehabilitation Seminar here in Helsinki. The event is hosted by The Rehabilitation Foundation. The theme for this year’s seminar is rehabilitation partnership and participation. Here are some notes and thoughts that caught my attention today.
- the early retirement (mostly due to illnesses and/or disabilities) costs 24 000 000 000 euros per year
- from these a growing number is under 34 years old raising their share from 4,8 billion to 6,6 billion within the last six years
- early retirement caused by clinical depression has risen from 4,4 billion to 6,6 billion
The outcome of a work community = The Will x The Ability x The Conditions. If either one of these is zero, the outcome is zero. Will includes attitude and motivation, ability includes competence, experience and tendencies, conditions includes leadership, leading, team-work, culture, structure, systems and the functional processes.
Productivity, innovation and the quality of work-life create outcome. The economical, human, social and ecological sustainability must be considered.
Money is a secondary motivation for working: meaningful activity, work mates and reputation and respect mean more. The lack of motivation to work isn’t the problem with unemployed people. According to Marie Jahoda The psychosocial or latent function of employment include:
- time structure
- social context
- participation in collective purposes
- regular activity
- provided status and identity
Juho Saari talked about perceived welfare and the politics of social possibilities. This approach would in a research look for the reasons why some group of people is succeeding instead of looking at the problems they’re facing to gather knowledge how to able other people from the same group to participate in the society.
He also talked about happiness and how the institutionalized structures define happiness (according to surveys Finns are among the happiest people in the world). Perceived welfare is relative: you might be perfectly happy until you see someone else is doing better. The single most significant factor contributing happiness is the perceived sense of inequality. Also the research (World Value Survey 1981-2000) shows that people who participate in volunteer work are the happiest! (I do.) Other factors are balanced time management (not too much activity, not too little), positive expectations for future and trust.
To increase happiness we should:
- increase (perceived) equality
- enable more volunteer work and to support associations
- organize better daycare and free time for family carers (omaishoitajat)
- cherish the trust in the government
- create positive expectations for future, to keep up hope
Is increasing happiness as a goal for politics conflicting with the financial goals?
Liisa Björklund from Diakonissalaitos presented the capability approach (by Nussbaum and Sen) in her philosophical and passionate introduction to human conditions for functioning. She stated that the paradigm is shifting from Rawls’ “veil of ignorance” to a more dynamic view on participation. She had some excellent quotes such as this:
Human rights are the moral state in which the person is able to act in a community and to take care of her duties. (Jaana Hallamaa) Human rights are being fullfilled when in use, not given. Already Aristoteles has said that a person wants to participate in the life of her community within her own abilities and skills.
Erkki Kemppainen from THL (The National Institute for Health and Welfare) defined rehabilitation as enabling and encouraging participation in unrestrained environment. Janne Jalava stated that the survival or well-being of a person in rehabilitation should not be evaluated based on discrimination rhetoric.