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Dartford care home nurse retires after more than half a century in the profession

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 May 2018

Abel Babalola has worked as a nurse for 53 years and is retiring this month. Picture:  Bupa Care

Abel Babalola has worked as a nurse for 53 years and is retiring this month. Picture: Bupa Care

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Care home nurse Abel Babalola is retiring this month after working in the sector for an amazing 53 years.

The 78-year-old, who works at Bupa Wilmington Manor care home, Common Lane, Dartford, first qualified in Nigeria in 1965, and has since practised in America, Jamaica, Nigeria and the UK.

Showing his remarkable commitment to nursing, Abel undertook a series of professional qualifications including achieving a BSC in nursing education in 1973 and an MSC in psychiatric community mental health nursing in 1984 when he attended Boston University, Massachusetts in America.

He has continued his professional development and enjoyed his career so much that he has dedicated five decades to the caring profession and has put his retirement until just before his 79th birthday.

Speaking about his favourite aspects of the job, Abel – who lives in Gravesend – said: “It is an interesting job and I enjoy it because I am able to make people happier, I like caring for people. I just put myself into their position and I am instantly able to help them when I feel their pain.

“It’s nice to know I have assisted people with things they can’t do themselves due to health or age.”

Home manager John Hudson-Beddows said: “Abel is one-of-a-kind.

“Nursing and caring professions often take a bad rap in the media, and Abel’s story just goes to show that the job really can bring amazing rewards.

“I don’t think anyone would stay working until they were nearly 80 if they didn’t love it!

“We are really going to miss his smiley face and exquisite bedside manner around the home – but we are also very happy for him as he deserves a well-earned break.”

Abel has worked at Bupa Wilmington Manor for 11 years, and the home will be holding a celebration event on his last day on May 31 to ensure he has a fitting send-off.

The home, a converted 19th century manor house, provides tailored care for each resident and offers a wide range of activities and outings to suit individual needs.

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