Little is known about the perspectives of health-care workers when it comes to prolonging their working lives. This exploratory paper focuses on physiotherapists and aims to offer new insights into the underlying processes that may influence perceptions of ageing and how they impact on motivation to work longer. Data gathering took the form of focus groups with 43 National Health Service physiotherapists. A thematic analysis was used to characterise and articulate key concepts and meanings. The analysis applied interpretive techniques. The six headline themes to emerge were: worry over physical capability and ability to cope; the need to maintain a professional image; work, retirement and exit norms; beliefs about ageing; extrinsic job demands; organisational support – line management; and organisational support – career progression. The key findings suggest that the current unchanging context of high job demands is very salient, consequently resulting in negative and pessimistic feelings about capabilities when it comes to being an older worker and having an extended working life.
- extending working life, ageing workforce, physiotherapy, socially