Carer for the elderly retires with reluctance

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Gore woman Glenyss Jones has enjoyed helping her elderly clients so much she did not want to stop.

However, after 64 years of showering, giving medication and housework, she is calling it a day.

Mrs Jones said at 76 years old, she was retiring later than many people chose to.

“I’ve enjoyed my job so much I didn’t want to give up.

“I love looking after elderly people who need the help,” Mrs Jones said.

She started helping people when she was 12 years old, at Talbot St Hospital in Timaru.

Later, she trained as a nurse at the hospital.

When she failed her state examinations twice, she decided to train as a Karitane nurse.

“In those days you had to get 50 to pass junior state – I got 49.5 and 49.”

Throughout the years, wherever she lived, she carried on caring for people.

When she came to Gore in 1981 she first worked at the Seddon Memorial Hospital and then for different homecare agencies.

She had seen many changes in the time she had been working.

“It was nurse aiding in my day – it’s now called caregiving.

“We never used to give out medication – we do give out medication.”

Even the tasks she was required to do as a carer had changed.

“You do the basics – we don’t dust.”

There were times when Mrs Jones went over her allotted time to care for patients.

“I’m one of those people who’ll go the extra mile.

“I felt the patient needed the extra attention.”

She had made many good friends.

“You really become really part of their family because you form such a close relationship.

“I’m sorry to leave.”

Her family had encouraged her to retire.

“[They said] ‘come on Mum, it’s time you stopped work and stopped to smell the roses’.”

Mrs Jones had a lot of plans for how she was going to spend her time, including training for the New Zealand Masters Athletics competition in March.

“I’ll probably go back and visit a lot of my clients.”