Nurses over 50 &/or with health issues affecting work - page 7

I'm sure I'm not the first (or the last) nurse to deal with this issue - I've been a Nurse for over 27 years and now I find myself having trouble "keeping up".(( Due to age? Weight? Arthritis? effect... Read More

  1. by   WriteStuff

    Hi all - great stuff in this thread!!

    I'll be 58 in July. In general I share many of the same concerns the rest of you do. I've been EXTREMELY fortunate that the ole back has never suffered any damage, and the knees "creek" a little but are holding out real well.

    I've had a thirty-year career and "done it all" in terms of employment: acute-care, registry, home-health, teaching, management, rehab, long-term care, and ad infinitum.

    I find myself now living in a very small (750 people) rural community in Minnesota, working full-time at the local Nursing Home - which fortunately is an excellent facility. I'm the "oldest" Nurse on staff and when I applied was eagerly sought after because of my many years of varied experiences in Nursing. Quite frankly, it's the first time I have felt "valued" in my work setting for many years, and it feels damn good!

    However, this thread has hit me smack in the face with all of the questions that have been lingering in my mind these days as the prospect of "retirement" rapidly becomes a greater reality.

    It's the financial outcome for me that gives me the greatest concern. IF, social security is to be believed I'll "retire" on a $1200/mo income. That's it folks!! I'm divorced, a single parent, and have no earthly assests (land, houses, investments, IRA's, 401's, insurances, etc.). What a fool, and how irresponsible I've been by NOT "planning" for the future! (financially)

    Go ahead, throw the book at me you guys - lol - I deserve it!! My "life story" is a 12-volume encyclopedia read on "how NOT to do life" - perhaps. But, here I am, because of the choices I made for myself along the way, pure and simple. At least I see that and maybe it's not too late to take best advantage of whatever is available in terms of socking away some savings because I plan on working until they shove me out the door at this place.........or plunk me in a wheel chair and take me to my "room" as their next admission.

    But, I DO have faith that it will all work out just the way it is supposed to, -

    Just adding my 10 cents worth.
  2. by   CATHYW
    my 2 cents-worth: if your LTC facility has a 401K program, join now, and put in the max percentage the company will match. Everytime you get a raise, put in another percent, or 2. 58 is plenty of time for you to get in several thousand dollars' worth that should grow, quickly. Once you get a couple of years' worth of investing under your belt, and are well-established at your job, and in the community, start checking with local real estate folks, (or your co-workers and residents families) about getting a small, fixer-upper house. Not a wreck of a house, mind you, but one that may need new carpet, cabinets, and such. You can live in it while you fix it up. (I know whereof I speak!) Mortgage interest is totally deductible on your income tax. Try to get with a person you trust-a financial adviser where you bank, a CPA, or a friend with good financial skills, and have them continue to give you pointers. If credit is a problem, run, don't walk, to Consumer Credit Counseling Service. They will get your bills squared away, and help you get them paid on time, while rebuilding your credit to buy that house I was talking about. Again, I know whereof I speak-been there, done that!
    Good luck to you. Keep us posted.
  3. by   Karen4HIM1951
    Cathy has some good advice Write!

    The only thing she didn't mention is - what if you start with some medical expenses now! It wouldn't take much of a problem (with the cost of things) to keep you from saving!

    This may sound HORRIBLE - but check with Medicaid and see what income level (SS income) you would need to be at or under in order to qualify for things like CAPS, Medicaid card (that pays for prescriptions and other health care items not covered by Medicare)etc.

    I have found, working in Home Health that the folks who have a little (small house, some savings) but not enough to pay for medicine or any of the healthcare items they need, have too many assetts to quality for Medicaid to help and as a result they fall thru the cracks and are S.O.L (-----,out of luck). It is only the poor and wealthy who can afford to get old! Even the middle class (which is most of us) usually have one heck of a time making it thru old age finanically!!!

  4. by   WriteStuff

    Thanks a bunch Cathy!! Appreciate the tips, and I will take them all VERY seriously. Fortunately for me what I DO have going for me is my health overall. Not to be taken for granted I know, because we never know what might come down the pipes five minutes from now.

    Although I might be some financial investor's nightmare walking, I've witnessed God do things in my life that would knock'em out of their snakeskin boots!

    When I can't, God does. When I won't God will. When I "doubt", God doesn't. But my part is the footwork in all of it first. So here I go.............

    Thanks again Cathy......
  5. by   Karen4HIM1951
    Hey Writestuff!

    I LOVE IT ! ! ! !

    " When I can't, God does. When I won't God will. When I "doubt", God doesn't. "

    Going to paste it on my page of Favorite quotes!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. by   WriteStuff

    Hi Karen,

    Glad you liked that. For me it's the truth.
    I've made a lot of very poor choices over my life time....but I find that what works for me is to learn from my mistakes (hopefully not repeat the same ones).........and stay grounded in my belief that God is in control, despite my screwups!

    It's NOT about sitting back and "expecting" God to clean up my messes - no way.

    But when push comes to shove, He ALWAYS shows me a better way. It 's a wonderful way to live.

    Free to be me today, and loving life in Minnesota!
  7. by   Kyshine1
    Reading these posts are good for all of us. It makes us realize we are not alone and lets face it....Misery loves company!!!

    I have been a nurse for more years than I can count. mainly ICU and then NICU. I went to NICU because my back was starting to bother my in my forties. I spent 15 years there. Now I'm 58 and had surgery on my back 2 years ago. It's a lot better but I can't stand over those isolettes anymore!

    But I am one of the lucky ones. I could go part time and they fit me into a desk job three days a week. It's been my salvation.
    Of course I had moved up on the Clinical ladder, but couldn't stay not working at the bedside, so my salary went down $10/hr!

    I'll always miss taking care of those babies, I truly loved it but I had no choice. There is one nurse in our unit who has been there more years that I was. She is very overweight and she can't bend her knees!!! She is still working full time because she has no choice. Every time I see her I pray for her a little harder.

    There should be some alternatives for nurses or maybe we
    should just tell all our young nurses they better save a lot of their

    Good luck to all you old girls!!
    From one of you...........Linda
  8. by   CATHYW
    Those suggestions were some that I wish someone had made to me (would I have listened?) several years ago.
    Tincture of time, and the grace of God have changed me, a lot. there is a timeworn saying, "let go, and let God." If we were to quit being so sure that we knew what was right for us and allowed ourselves to do what God wills us to, we would be much better off!
    Take care, and keep your good attitude.
  9. by   Karen4HIM1951
    How true and how WISE!

    That is what I'm trying to do on a daily basis!!! It sure isn't easy (allowing God to take control and guide you) but it is the only way to get where you're suppossed to be!

    Hope others realiize this too - It is ashamed that alot of us come to this realization after we're - lets say - "mature" - and not when we're younger, could have prevented many a heartache!!!!

    Yours in HIS service:
  10. by   WriteStuff

    Just got home from work. It's nice to visit the site and find positive support from peers I've never actually met face to face.

    Although I'm rapidly approaching 58, and "retirement" looks like a freight train coming down the track at cyber-speed in my direction, I have the confidence that my NEEDS will be met when that time arrives.

    And what exactly is it that I "need?" Shelter, food, and some clothes on my back in the material sense of the word. I already have the most important "needs" and they are the things that all this world's $$$$$$$ could never buy:

    1. God.
    2. My children (four) -who all love me.
    3. A handful of very precious friends who have been
    there for me through think and thin.
    4. Self-respect
    5. Integrity
    6. Honesty
    7. A passion for writing.
    8. 58 years of some very happy and wonderful memories.

    I am truly blessed.

  11. by   Jenny P
    I've put off reading this thread due to fear- yes, I fit into this catagory too: I'm 54, a bedside nurse for 33 years, and falling apart in parts of my body also. I've got a bad hip (trochanter bursitis, sciatica and S-I joint disfunction). BUT I love my job and look forward to being there when I'm scheduled to work.
    My CV-ICU unit is unique; out of a staff of about 70 nurses, we have around 20 males, about 25 of us are ages 50-63, and we have people who have been there for 20-35 years! We also have a fairly large group of young nurses! We loose around 5-7 young people to anesthesia school each year, so we do have new people coming each year. (Okay, we also have 1 or 2 newbie-eaters; but the rest of us try to keep the newbies out of their reach ). So we aren't perfect But my point is that there are many older nurses who are still at the bedside IF we are staffed properly and not expected to do the work of 2 or 3 people. Our unit is staffed on acuity, and that makes all of the difference in how long we can stay at the bedside.
  12. by   live4today
    I couldn't agree with you more, Writestuff! You listed all of my most 'wealthy' assets! Nothing in my life is more important than my family, close friends, and a close relationship with God (and not necessarily in that order)

    It's almost seven in the morning here. Hubby left for work, had my early morning prayer, tried to go back to sleep but couldn't so I got up, brushed teeth and gargled, refilled my water pitcher for the 1/2 gallon of water I try to get in me each day, turned on the t.v. to watch the news, got up to see about the dog, had a dear friend on my mind for two weeks so thought I'd send her an e-greeting, so now here I am reading my email and responding to the important things.

    Now that you all have heard about my day thus far, thank you for listening to me rattle on about the start of my day today (as if you have a choice, right). Thank you all for being here! It's nice to come to this site and feel embraced.

    My prayer today for each of you is that your day will be filled with God's Peace and Love in abundance! And I too thank God for blessing me with 50 years of life, and allowing me to reach "maturity" in wisdom, with still a long way to go without EVER arriving at the point of learning in life that I would hope for. We NEVER are too big or too old to learn and gain, then share that which we learn and gain with others we are privileged to cross paths with.
  13. by   oramar
    You make the point very well, they can keep us old timers around if they want to, just takes a little effort. I think there is a tradition in hospitals to always move on to new blood, it is burning them bad now. If they wanted to adapt the work enviroment to older workers they could have enough nurses to give them the 5 years they need to really gear up the educational system. It is amazing how little has been done along these lines.