Table 4

Challenges associated with meetings and ongoing education programs that have become more difficult with age

Challenges impacted by age-related factors

Reported reasons why each is more difficult

1. Travel to meetings and conferences

Age-related factors:

In particular:

▪ Less stamina, staying power for long distance driving

▪ Long distance and night driving to meetings

▪ Night driving:

- Glare of lights, vision not as sharp

- "Lots of signs, adds to confusion"

Exacerbated by:

▪ Ergonomics of smaller and lower cars

▪ Tight time frames (rushing)

2. Participation in ongoing education

Age related factors:

In particular:

▪ Difficulty retaining 'new learnings'

▪ Going to educational courses

Exacerbated by:

▪ Difficulty learning new skills eg. surgical procedures

▪ Can't find time to go, can't find the time to read about courses

▪ Negative responses to older workers wanting/participating in training

▪ Locations - hard to get to (see travel difficulties)

- Usually located hours away - time to get there and back

- Very early leaving and very late getting back

▪ Attitudes toward older workers showing an interest or participating in courses:

- Offered to younger staff in preference

- Feeling of being overlooked for courses, "you'll be retiring soon" ...but a prevailing belief it is more likely older workers will stay in a place for longer

▪ In contrast, participants also reported that some workers "flatly refuse to go/change or learn - doggedness" (which doesn't help those who want to)

3. Hearing speech in video and teleconferencing meetings

Age related factors:

▪ Deteriorating hearing - 'noise induced' for some

Exacerbated by:

▪ Nature of communication system

Fragar and Depczynski BMC Health Services Research 2011 11:42   doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-42

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