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Friday, August 20, 2010

Retirement, memories of work & Bacon numbers

In the UK in July 2010 the much anticipated news about the government's plan to scrap the default retirement age in the UK from October 2011 throws up a complex future work place and nursing care space.

At the moment if a member of the staff in the NHS needs a psychiatric assessment and admission, then there is often a protocol that determines how their care is managed. Various factors are taken into account. For example, the work history of the person and the distance of available beds. This may entail admission for them to another area. Such arrangements help protect the staff member, their families and the local staff for whom being both carers and colleagues could be quite difficult.

Over two decades I have encountered health professionals who are diagnosed with dementia maintained in the community - in their homes - and in residential care. So far I have not known these individuals in their work capacity and professional lives. This is due in part of course to the incidence of dementia increasing with age and my previous status as a spring chicken. Today of course things have changed:

  • Early onset dementia is more common as the overall older adult population rises.
  • Suddenly (well at least after October 2011) we may find - despite the physical and emotional demands of the job - that the staff in residential and nursing homes are also older - working through that previous work | retirement barrier.
  • There's another change: now I am a mature chicken.
  • I wonder what the churn rate is in our nursing homes?
  • While we usually think of high turnover for staff and the associated poor quality of care. As care and nursing homes are also businesses there are two churn rates:
    • - senior and junior staff leave the sector, or move to other homes;
    • - residents are moved for reasons of re-location - increased care needs, and the choices of family.
So....? Amid all this I wonder how many workers in the care sector working their extended years may potentially come across former work colleagues? This could be a delicate and haphazard negotiation. ...

Additional link:
The Oracle of Bacon

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