A 97-year-old man from Godalming has won through to the national finals of a prestigious national care award for his devotion to his wife and the support he gives to the care home where she lives.
Len Clark visits his wife Isobel every day at Care UK’s Broadwater Lodge care home in Farncombe, riding his scooter from his home in Godalming.
He was nominated for the award by the home’s manager Angie Bookham and today (Friday 18th October) he will be interviewed by National Dementia Care Awards judges.
Angie said: “Len is a truly devoted husband and his affection and dedication for his wife are very touching.”
However, Len is also committed to helping others at the home, which offers specialist dementia and respite care. Angie said: “He attends all the functions held at Broadwater Lodge. He also makes a valuable contribution to daily life, especially at relatives’ meetings where he gives support and advice in an open forum where relatives can share any questions they may have with members of our team.
“Len is always a reassuring presence, particularly for new residents who he helps to settle in. He is also very complimentary to all colleagues and is never slow to give positive feedback, which raises morale.”
Len said: “I was surprised and of course flattered to be nominated for the award, because I know there are so many other carers and family members who have contributed a great deal more than me to their loved ones and those who look after them professionally. I have felt increasingly that when a family decide that they can no longer adequately provide what is needed for their relative with dementia, it is not a question of ‘filing them away’. There is still an element of partnership, with the family in a support role.
“My experience meeting staff at Broadwater Lodge has reinforced this. I have the highest regard for them, without exception. Because I am able to visit my wife daily I have been especially well placed to know how remarkably well they carry out one of the most difficult jobs with kindness and quiet good humour. And I know, when I leave my wife, painful as it still is, that she is in good hands.”
The winners of the 4th National Dementia Care Awards will be announced at a gala event on 6th November at Colwick Hall Hotel, Nottingham.