CENTERVILLE, S.D. (KELO) – Throughout the pandemic, those who work in health care know the toll the job can take. For one KELOLAND woman, it’s a job she’s held for more than 50 years.
It’s not too often that you won’t find Arlene Bryenldson at work.
She works as a CNA and med aid at Centerville Rehab and Care – something she’s been doing for 54 years.
“One year led to the other and I just kept on doing what I was doing because I loved it,” CNA, Med aid, Arlene Bryenldson said.
She started back in 1967 and while she says things have changed over the years, it’s the residents who keep her coming back.
“If it weren’t for them it wouldn’t be enjoyable,” Bryenldson said.
“I have never had a person that has been so dedicated to the facility,” director of nursing, Patty Knutson said.
Thursday is also a special day for Arlene – it’s her 86th birthday.
SARAH MCDONALD: “86 years old, are you thinking about retiring or what?”
ARELENE: “Patty asked me that the other day and I said as long as this works, I’m working, so I am not ready yet,” Bryenldson said.
“When I found out she was turning 86, I said, ‘Arlene do you ever plan to retire?,’ and she said ‘no I don’t plan to retire,’ and I said ‘how about cutting back?,’ and she said ‘no don’t plan to cut back, I had two days off and I could hardly wait to get here,’” Knutson said. “The demands in healthcare are 24/7, it’s not an easy job, but her doing it for this many years can inspire new grads, or people that have been home thinking maybe I can help out a facility.”
A job Arlene will continue to do as long as she can.
“At some point I will cut back, but right now I’m happy doing what I do because I can,” Bryenldson said.
Arlene’s son and grand-daughter also work at the facility, which she says also makes her job special.