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Table 2 Tasks and challenges in community settings that have become more difficult with age

From: Beyond 50. challenges at work for older nurses and allied health workers in rural Australia: a thematic analysis of focus group discussions

Tasks impacted by age-related factors

Reported reasons why each is more difficult

1. Work involving vehicles

Age-related factors specific to these tasks -

In particular:

▪ Arthritis, sore joints, backaches - caused or exacerbated by vehicles and driving

▪ General driving during the day

   - Less flexibility, manoeuvrability for getting in and out of cars

▪ Reversing vehicles

   - Harder to turn around to look behind/harder to see out of cars

▪ Getting in and out of cars and the 'Day Care' bus

▪ More fatigued for report writing, after driving around during the day

▪ Carrying equipment to/from vehicles and homes eg. baby scales

Exacerbated by:

 

▪ Ergonomics of smaller and lower cars ("green policy")

 

   - Hard to get in and out of, not comfortable, poor seating

 

▪ 'Day Care' bus, bumping up and down along the road

 

▪ Tight time frames, rushing

 

▪ General safety issues related to night and long-distance driving - vision, fatigue, time allowed

2. Work involving home visits

Age-related factors specific to these tasks -

In particular:

▪ Musculoskeletal changes - strength, tone, flexibility, pain and stiffness, backache - caused/exacerbated by vehicles and driving

▪ Carrying equipment to/from vehicles and homes eg. baby scales

▪ Manoeuvring, mobility and stability on feet (with clutter) more difficult when older

▪ Moving around and manoeuvring in cluttered houses

Exacerbated by:

 

▪ Home clutter and trip hazards

 

▪ Manoeuvrability of equipment

 

▪ Home ergonomics and design - narrow bathrooms and doors that don't allow room for manoeuvring