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Super Senior: Janice Hill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Janice Hill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

The Gary Home by all measures is a homey place for its 14 senior residents. Janice Hill knows the building like the back of her hand and for good reason; she's been a nurse here for over 50 years. They have nine nurses on staff, but Janice is the only one with this colorful title: The bed, bath and beyond nurse. She's not afraid to make a bed, clean a back and do whatever is needed to make the seniors feel comfortable.

"I think that's an explanation. That's about what I do now," she said.

The 84-year-old works six hours a week. Some of the residents are even younger than her, something she couldn't imagine would happen decades ago.

"No, I didn't," she said. "I thought I would be retired a while ago, but it's good to keep going."

Now it's to keep active and as she puts it, earn some play money.

"This is my family," Janice said.

Life gave her a big challenge. Her husband, Albert, died of kidney complications at 49, leaving her with six children to raise. She needed this job. And the Gary Home became a kind of a second home for Janice and her family.

"She's the queen of can-do!" Deborah McCormick said.

Deborah is Janice's oldest daughter. All three girls worked in the kitchen when they were teens.

"And she'd soldier through. I know there were lots of days and nights when she wasn't sure how it was going to proceed, but she put one foot in front of another," Deborah said.

"This is it-- bed, bath and beyond!" Janice said with a laugh.

Today, it's taking care of the only man in the house, 91-year-old Don Roberts.

"Here you go, Don. You get a double scrub in today," Janice told him.

Traditionally it's been a home for women.

"I'm fresh, ready to go!" Don Roberts announced.

But it hasn't always been a stress-free place for Janice. The biggest challenge-- the Montpelier flood of '92.

"Looked out the window and water was coming up the road," Janice recalled.

The basement was flooded and the kitchen and the spa were ruined.

"It was a big mess," Janice said.

And for two weeks, the residents lived at Vermont College, sleeping on Army cots and sharing one bathroom. Now, 20 years later, this Super Senior is going strong with no intentions of retiring.

"Oh Janice, she's a super, super person," said Joan Houghton of the Gary Home. "Inside, out; a role model for sure."

A role model for her family, friends and the people of the Gary Home.

"The day is done!" Janice said.

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