MOUNT AIRY, NC - A workplace norm has turned into something truly heartwarming at Twelve Oaks Senior Living Community in Mt. Airy.

Shirley Bowes was named employee of the month... but she is not actually an employee.

Bowes suffers from a form of dementia and thinks she works at Twelve Oaks. Her husband says it gives her a sense of purpose.

Shirley Bowes

At the most recent staff meeting Bowes was told she was voted to be the employee of the month, and her reaction was priceless.

“This was definitely one of those times you will never forget,” said Administrator Penny Haynes. “It reinforces why caring for the elderly is so important. I don’t think there were many dry eyes in the room!”

Bowes was also handed flowers, a certificate, and was all together speechless.

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Her son who is a JROTC Instructor at Surry County schools could not believe the kindness of the staff,

“In my line of business I often get thanks for my service,” he said. “Today, I want to thank each and every one of you for your service. This has been a wonderful experience for Mom.”