01
Jun
21
Nurse to retire this Friday after 44 years of service
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Nurse to retire this Friday after 44 years of service Featured

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Gail Raymond is strongly motivated by duty. As such, the thought of retiring does not sit easy.

Speaking from her workplace in late May 2021, Gail describes her last day of work this Friday (June 4) as bittersweet.

“It has been great working here,” the 64-year-old confesses. “I’m sorry to be leaving, but the time has come for me to take care of my husband, family and self.”

Gail has worked as a Registered Nurse at Helen Henderson Care Centre in Amherstview for the past 20 years. She was born in Nova Scotia, educated in Montreal, lived for five years in Germany and moved to Ontario in 1977. She has been a nurse for 44 years; most in geriatrics.

In that time, she has seen a lot of changes in the industry. One of the starkest is the increasing level of care required by residents in long-term care (LTC).

“I miss sitting with them and talking. I don’t have time to do that anymore,” the Amherstview nurse says about the heavy workload for health care professionals. “You do the best you can.”

Speaking on behalf of the home, Administrator Lisa Gibson notes, “Gail is a great nurse who knows our residents intimately which allows her to notice subtle changes that might otherwise be missed. We appreciate her dedication and compassion. She has looked after our residents like they are her own family.”

Gail says she chose this time to retire because of her upcoming 65th birthday and 44th wedding anniversary in June and her daughter’s wedding in August. She feels the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 16 months has taken a toll on her.


 

“COVID has taken a lot of out of me,” she confirms. “The last two years have been the hardest of my career; specifically the lack of government support towards seniors. I’m extremely passionate about our seniors’ rights, proper care and equality. They deserve much more than we give them.”

Gail’s plans for retirement include enjoying her yard; spending time with her three children and two grandchildren; decluttering her house; and, traveling and visiting her parents on the East Coast whom she hasn’t seen for almost three years.

Holding the hands of residents as she talks, Gail is clearly finding her decision to retire difficult. It is just as obvious many of the residents in the popular LTC home will miss her.

“When I first met her, she woke me up and put the life back into me,” says Shirley, a resident of the home.

Barb, another resident, smiles sadly at Gail’s news and asks her not to visit on her last day of work because she will cry over Gail’s departure.

“You’re like moms and dads, here,” Gail tells Barb while holding her hand. “You’re part of my family.”

“I’ll miss you too,” Barb replies sadly.

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for the good work of Gail Raymond. We deeply appreciate the excellent health care she has provided our residents and wish her a long and healthy retirement. To learn more about living or working here, please call 613-384-4585.

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