Sue Morris said she had seen many changes since starting a full-time job at Stone House, in Bishop’s Castle, in 1982 – but her love of looking after the elderly residents meant it was still hugely enjoyable.
Care assistant Sue said: “I actually started in 1981 on a Youth Opportunities Programme and did six months in the hospital unit.
“We were part of the county council then, and when a job came up, I was asked if I would like permanent, full-time hours.
“I just like looking after the old people and interacting with them. There is no more satisfaction than when someone is getting into a bit of a pickle and you being able to calm them down and reassure them.”
Stone House is now owned and run by Coverage Care Services, the county’s biggest not-for-profit care provider, but when Sue started work, it was run by Shropshire Council – and Sue said it bore little resemblance to the comfortable home-from-home it is now.
She said: “There have been a lot of changes. When I started, we only had six single bedrooms – all the others were doubles and you had to 'earn' a single room! The residents sharing the doubles only had two drawers in a chest of drawers, half a wardrobe and a locker. When they came in, they didn’t have the things with them that they are encouraged to bring now.
“We had to report to the office every morning, but we never did any paperwork and you never touched medication or anything like that.”
Sue, who lives in Clun, has no immediate plans but is starting to think about retirement in the future.
She added: “I have never had any time out but I’m getting aches and pains now, it’s getting harder.
“I don’t find the computer work easy as I had eye problems when I was younger but the office staff have been very supportive and very patient with me. I still have the crib sheet in my bag that one of them did the first day we used the computers!”
Debbie Price, Coverage Care’s chief executive, said: “Dedicating 40 years to working at the same care home is an amazing milestone, and we all owe Sue a huge thank you for her care and loyalty over the years.
“Our carers are the heart and soul of Coverage Care – without them, we couldn’t look after our residents in the way they deserve to be cared for. They go above and beyond every day and Sue is the epitome of that dedication. Thank you, Sue!”
Sue's family includes her brother, sister, nieces and nephews and, outside work, she is involved with the Women’s Institute and her local church.
She also enjoys a weekly mindful movement class and takes part in a walking group which her WI started during the Covid lockdowns.