When Westgate’s Penny Moore celebrates her 80th birthday on August 16 she has pledged to do one thing – retire!
The great-grandmother-of-four is a member of staff at the town’s Eaton Lodge care home where she trains health care assistants and takes residents out on days trips – even though she is older than many of those she cares for.
The energetic nan-of-six has been a staff member for some 20 years. Previous to residential care work Penny had been a Sister at QEQM’s maternity ward in 1995.
Penny said: “I take many of the elderly out and about, to the cinema or for lunch at Paul’s.
“I also do aromatherapy massage which is lovely for the elderly and any aches and pains.”
Penny, who also loves to travel, spent some two decades at QEQM and is still recognised by families for delivering their babies.
She introduced ante-natal dance classes for pregnant mums to assist with keeping them healthy and mobile and now does movement to music for Eaton Lodge residents.
Although Penny has been shielding so unable to work during the lockdown she says she would like to go back to the home when she can.
Granddaughter Jessica Conroy described her nan as ‘a diamond’ saying: “She takes the elderly residents – many of whom are younger than her – out for trips to the cinema, beach cafes, and round the shops (she pushes them in wheelchairs, despite hip pain herself now. She also does the new staff inductions and training at the care home.
“I feel she deserves to be celebrated.”
Penny says her active life is due to work and the company she keeps.
She said: ““I have six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren who keep me busy and I also like to travel, I have been all over the world with a friend of mine.
“I kept working all my life and when you keep working it keeps you younger. I also work with a lot of younger people through the training and being friends with them keeps you younger with that young outlook.”
Eaton Lodge manager Maria Kallis said Penny is a “100% diamond.”
She added: “Penny is incredible. She is an amazing nurse, very professional and always keeps high standards. She has been a great asset for us and really supportive over the years.
“Penny is very loyal, caring and absolutely loves our residents. When she first started our local cinema did not have disabled access and she complained. They put in a ramp and since then she takes one, two or three guests in to watch a film.
“She never asks for any rewards and since Covid began she has come by every week with goodie bags for the staff and residents.
“She says she will retire but I think we will be seeing lots of her.”