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Pros and cons of dating an older man with kids

Chronic conditions such as back pain or epilepsy may require shorter absences, but can strike unpredictably.

I feel rotten but I’m terrified to tell anyone at work, because I’m part of a competitive sales team.It was left to me to organise cover when I had treatment and I was really under strain, but as a single parent with two teenage children, I had no choice but to work.‘I had surgery, six cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and worked part time during that period – which, because I was running a shop, involved loading and unloading items and standing on my feet all day serving customers.I was occasionally allowed part-time help, but no other concessions were made to help me.’After a year’s treatment, Carol was made redundant, albeit with a generous payoff.Imagine you’re on the brink of a long-awaited promotion at work when you’re diagnosed with a serious illness. You might not feel that your condition will affect your performance, but your employer could well see it differently.Would it be more stressful to keep medical appointments a secret and hope that no one notices if you occasionally perform under par?Helen Nightingale enjoyed a highly successful career as a clinical psychologist in the NHS for 20 years, and was promoted to management level, but when she developed severe chronic migraines, she decided to ‘jump before being pushed’ out of her job.Even when my colleagues saw me injecting myself with the migraine drug Sumatriptan, nobody took my condition seriously.My husband says I should take unpaid leave but we can’t afford it financially, and emotionally I need the routine of work or I’ll go to pieces.’As we are encouraged to stay in our jobs longer, an ageing workforce carries with it all sorts of health implications.According to the Department for Work and Pensions, 5.9 million workers in Britain currently have long-standing health conditions, and a study by Bupa has estimated that by the year 2030 the number of British workers with chronic conditions such as diabetes will rise above four million.Add to that the seven million with musculoskeletal diseases such as arthritis, and the 4.2 million with ongoing mental health issues, and the scale of the problem becomes clear.‘Studies show that if people stay at work either part time or in a phased return after a period of rehabilitation, it greatly aids their recovery,’ says Stephen Bevan, managing director of the Work Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that carries out research into the future of working practices.‘The problem is that GPs aren’t tuned in to occupational medicine and the psychological benefits of being at work, and will advise people who may be struggling to come to terms with their diagnoses to leave their jobs.


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