Staff and residents of the Wesley Homes retirement community in Des Moines, (a B-Town Blog Advertiser), recently celebrated the 45 years of service of wellness nurse LaVonne Mahugh.
LaVonne, who started working there in 1968, spoke on Sept. 13 to the gathering of about 50 people.
She noted how things have changed over the decades.
“Going back to well before I began working here,” LaVonne said, “girls often were discouraged from attending college because it was thought to be a waste of money on tuition when many young women then would stay at home and take care of the kids and home.
“Many men in society did not like the idea of their wives working outside of the home, because the men thought it would send a signal to the neighborhood that he was not a sufficient provider,” she said.
LaVonne spoke of a policy change instituted about twenty years ago.
“Residents were not allowed back then to bring their walkers into the dining room. Then the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed (by Congress) and residents were then allowed to bring their walkers to their dinner table.”
Tom Brown, Director of Home Health Services at Wesley Homes, said “LaVonne is a wonderful nurse, a registered nurse actually, who has helped residents selflessly for a long, long time.
“She travels with residents on day trips, for example, to Leavenworth and Oregon,” Brown said.
Staffer Peg Ogilvie said “LaVonne is very outgoing.”
Theresa Hile, an administrative assistant, said “LaVonne’s energy and positivity amaze me. I hope I grow up to be like her someday.”
Wesley Homes Des Moines is a continuing care retirement community with a variety of housing options and care services.