Health-care aide honoured for 45 years at Rainycrest

Sam Odrowski

A local man has helped improve the lives of many during his nearly half-century of work as a health-care aide with Rainycrest Long Term Care Home here.
Larry Hands has provided exemplary care to long-term home patients for close to half-a-century and recently set the record for being the first employee to receive the 45 years of service achievement with Rainycrest.
He was honoured at Rainycrest’s annual Quarter-Century Club banquet held March 28.
“Looking back, I never thought I’d be working that long,” Hands admitted. “It’s amazing how I’ve been able to do it.”
He said he has stayed working in the same position for so long because he loves his job and finds great reward in providing elderly people with care.
“A lot of the residents appreciate the care you give them and you really do get attached to some of them,” Hands remarked.
Co-worker Bonnie Hughes said Hands’ efforts don’t go unnoticed.
“He goes over and above,” she lauded. “I have never met anybody in the health-care field like Larry.”
Other Rainycrest employees echo Hughes’ statement, noting that Hands is friendly, easy to work with, and has a big heart.
Most residents recognize Hands as a familiar face in the community because he has cared for many of the town’s family members during his time at Rainycrest.
“They all remember him and have kind words to say,” Hughes said. “He is well-respected, liked, and recognized.”
Even some of Hands’ former co-workers and teachers have lived at Rainycrest and received his care there.
He also had a chance to look after his own parents for more than nine years while they resided at Rainycrest.
“On my coffee breaks, I would have the opportunity to visit with them,” Hands recalled.
“Having his own parents there that was a highlight for him,” said his wife, Barb.
Hands has many fond memories working at Rainycrest, such as the times when he played with the “Rainycrest Rascals” baseball team and participated in “wheelchair races” with the other staff.
But the job isn’t without its challenges. During his first few years as a health-care aide, Hands said they manually had to lift people out of bed.
This wasn’t always easy with some residents being significantly heavier than others, he noted.
“We had some pretty heavy ones to lift and . . . I can never figure out how we did it without getting a back injury,” he remarked.
Even though he’s put in 45 years with Rainycrest, it was not his first career. Hands worked a few different occupations before landing in health care.
In his earlier years, he was a milk delivery man, did odd jobs, and worked in the bush cutting wood.
Moving forward, Hands hopes to continue working at Rainycrest until he’s physically unable to.
If Hands’ health allows it, he just may set another record and reach 50 years of service.
“I feel great, my health is 100 percent,” said Hands, adding that nothing is slowing him down.