Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod (known to all as Julia) and her husband encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud owners of a near-derelict croft house—a farmer’s stone cottage—on “a small acre” of land. Mary assumed duties as the island’s district nurse. Call the Nurse is her account of the first enchanted years she and her family spent there, coming to know its folk as both patients and friends.
And we could go on, but you should get the idea. Leading up to the day of her retirement when you can give her a bouquet of twelve red roses. Add a note containing a message, favorite quote, or special words, with each of the gifts, and keep your identity secret until the last day. Alternatively, all her co-workers could take it in turns providing a range of different gifts. One for each day leading up to her last day at work. ">
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Do you have a favorite nurse that will soon be retiring? Is there a family member that will soon be ending her nursing career? Do you have a favorite co-worker who will be retiring in the very near future? After a lengthy career, this person will be looking forward to retirement, and you want to give her a gift that has meaning and value. And you most definitely don’t want it to be the kind of gift that spends its life sat at the back of a drawer.
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Consider championing a proactive approach at your facility to clearly communicate that staff are not allowed to receive monetary gifts or the equivalent. Create a statement—e.g., “It is our policy that staff may not accept gifts of any kind”— that can be shared with new patients in their information packet about the facility, parking, visitors, etc, and suggest alternatives for redirecting gifts.
The bigwigs where she works are sure to be planning to mark the occasion with a medal, plaque, or some other gift that acknowledges her years of service and commitment to the profession. Friends, family and colleagues can take the opportunity to create a more personalized memory of her caring career. A few weeks before her last day speak with as many people as possible and ask them to provide a story, message, poem, drawing or sentimental memento to put in a scrapbook. If there is enough time, you could make some recordings, using a smartphone or camcorder. Interview some of her colleagues, friends, patients, and family and put them all together in a home video. When she misses her life before retirement, there will be a long lasting reminder she can replay.
Experience retirement gifts. Retirees already have a lifetime of accumulated possessions, but almost everyone appreciates a fun new experience. "The research suggests that experiential gifts are better than material gifts," Galak says. "That is, rather than give a gold watch, give a ticket to a concert. Even better would be to give two tickets, and go with the recipient. Not only will the retiree appreciate the experience itself, but they will have a chance to form a stronger bond with the gift giver."
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