Old nurse won't retire

  1. I have a work friend, we'll call her Barbara, at my side job. She's over 70 and works part time in the ER of a tiny hospital. Since I've worked there she's given several deadlines of when she's going to retire, the latest of which was this October. She made a beaded necklace with the amount of beads of days left, taking one bead off at a time, sharing with everyone, even the DNS, who took her off on the Oct schedule.

    I talked to her yesterday and she let me know that she's changed her mind again. She says that with the cold days approaching, this isn't the right season to retire, she'll just be sitting in her house. She said that she only has to give 3 weeks notice, and hasn't done that yet, and was upset that she was off the October schedule.

    Barbara is a very likable woman, but frankly, she needs to retire. She is not very fit, and limps with a bad leg. She calls in frequently, which has a bigger impact on a small hospital. She never had kids and her husband died years ago. She doesn't seem to have hobbies.

    I'm afraid that management will start writing her up for her attendance to get rid of her. Even though I love her, she doesn't pull her weight anymore. I don't want to sign up for shifts with her and have to do 3/4 of the work. It'd be a shame to see her be forced out.

    One time she told me to let her know when she is starting to slip. Well, that's been going on for a while, but people are being patient since she's been sharing with all about her impending retirement. She needs to retire with dignity as planned .
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    About Emergent, RN

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 2,413; Likes: 17,565

    158 Comments

  3. by   Wuzzie
    This is not going to end well.
  4. by   brownbook
    Subtle hint. Throw a surprise going away party with the gift being round trip tickets for a plane or boat or train trip to a sunny place.

    Probably won't work.
  5. by   Fiona59
    I feel your pain. There are several retirees who work casual on my unit. They weren't ready to retire is what we constantly hear. They work two or three shifts a week. Only days, never shift or weekends.

    It's a social outing for them. As you say they do about half the normal workload. We are treated to stories of how they just weren't ready to "put out to pasture". They are busy planning their winter holidays right now.

    These women retired with full pensions. They make $350 for every shift they show up for. It's wearing us out covering their patients.

    Suggestions would be wonderful
  6. by   caliotter3
    We had an older lady who was still functional but who had health problems that were worsening. People would talk about her behind her back. One day we were told that she had a health crisis and was hospitalized. So she retired by way of hospital stay. Never saw her again. It was very sad.
  7. by   chare
    Quote from Wuzzie
    This is not going to end well.
    For Barbara, or the thread? Or Both?
  8. by   Been there,done that
    She already gave you the okay to tell her. Do that, I'm sure you will do it in the kindest way possible.
  9. by   cleback
    I find this thread just very sad. Wish everyone could be seen as fully productive until they are emotionally ready to retire.
  10. by   Aunt Slappy
    Quote from Been there,done that
    She already gave you the okay to tell her. Do that, I'm sure you will do it in the kindest way possible.
    This. If you actually care about her, you will pull her aside and tell her gently and respectfully that she needs to keep her retirement date in October. Perhaps suggest that she keep coming to the hospital as a volunteer. That will keep her busy with much lower demands, as long as she can respect the boundary of not being a nurse anymore. If she refuses to listen to you, then she has bought her ignominious end through write ups and termination. And there will no one to blame but her.

    ETA: had a thought that perhaps you could also suggest that she retire but perhaps keep working if she needs/wants to in something with a lower physical demand than hospital nursing, like DD group homes or something like that. The way the laws are written now she can retire but then still work if she wants to.
    Last edit by Aunt Slappy on Sep 1
  11. by   Aunt Slappy
    Quote from cleback
    I find this thread just very sad. Wish everyone could be seen as fully productive until they are emotionally ready to retire.
    So, are her colleagues supposed to pretend that she's carrying her weight and that working with her is fair when those things are clearly not true? They're supposed to play make believe to support her ego?
  12. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Aunt Slappy
    So, are her colleagues supposed to pretend that she's carrying her weight and that working with her is fair when those things are clearly not true? They're supposed to play make believe to support her ego?
    I really doubt ego has anything to do with it. As a rapidly aging single woman with no children the thought of being alone and elderly scares the crap out of me.
  13. by   Aunt Slappy
    Quote from Wuzzie
    I really doubt ego has anything to do with it. As a rapidly aging single woman with no children the thought of being alone and elderly scares the crap out of me.
    That doesn't give you any justification to keep collecting a paycheck for a job you're not doing.
  14. by   meanmaryjean
    I think a full-time or near full-time volunteer opportunity would be my ideal resolution to this situation. Imagine the good she could do for the facility, the good it would do her socially and personally.

    My retirement plan includes being the substitute grandma volunteer for tech dependent kids whose parents cannot be with them in the hospital due to work, distance and job constraints.

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