Diane Richards has an employment history that reads like a travel itinerary for TV character Carmen Sandiego. Serving as a nurse over the last 59 years, she’s worked in places ranging from Manhattan to San Francisco and everywhere in-between as well as in departments ranging from labor and delivery to the ICU. Most reasonable people would probably want to retire. Richards, 81, still has a lot more in the tank.
“Back in my day, the two choices for any professional work for women were either teachers or nurses,” Richards said to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “I can remember vividly when I was in high school looking at those two and making a decision to become a nurse. I love working with people.”
Today, Richards is still out there working part-time as a nurse for Right at Home home care in Bend, OR. She started in October 2022 after taking a brief hiatus since March to care for her husband’s lung cancer. After her husband passed away this January, the work has taken on a new meaning for her. Safe to say things are going well.
“She’s without question the best nurse that I’ve had in 13 years,” Right at Home owner Julie Burket said. “She is thorough and does not cut corners. I just think the world of Diane; she’s already made an improvement for my agency.”
Richards works 10-16 hours a week teaching nonlicensed caregivers how to administer medications as well as making initial and recurring visits to patients. It’s not as hectic as some of her previous jobs but she’s fine with that. She’s just happy to be in a position using her wealth of experience to serve her community.
“I was praying for a job that would be a win-win situation,” Richards said. “I don’t mind saying I’ve been a nurse now for 59 years. It’s been a long time. I’m 81 years old. I am limited in what I can do at this age. We [Bend and I] have found each other, which is great.”
Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Special Projects Coordinator Foster Stubbs at [email protected].