"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 .
I can see multiple issues here, but the biggest ones are 1) she appears to be a liability, not an asset and 2) she has asked you to let her know when she started slipping. Even so, I am not sure that I would want to bear that burden. How genuine was her request? Was it a passing comment?
Her actions are speaking louder than words. It appears she does NOT want to retire. However, she calls in frequently and is not pulling her weight when she works with you. You can only control your actions in this situation. You will go nutty trying to control or influence hers. If you don't want to sign up to work with her, don't. If the grief it will cause you is not worth the money you earn being there, just don't do it if you have a choice.
The next part is harder. You have to stop doing her work. I'm happy to help others, but I also have a responsibility to make sure MY patients are cared for. As I explained to a CNA who liked to ask me to do her tasks, it is not efficient for me to do my work AND her work routinely. This goes for the 22 year old who stares at Instagram for the better part of the morning. It's one thing to help boost people in bed, but I'm not going to pass your meds because you decided to be on your phone from 8-10.
Finally, when something happens and it might, you have to address it as a patient safety issue only. It's not about her being older, or having a limp, or no hobbies.