The manager and maintenance person at Care UK’s Tall Trees care home in Colchester have won national awards for their commitment to delivering life-enhancing care for older people living with dementia.
Manager Katherine Foley won an award for her work in promoting care, dignity and choice for residents at the care home in Mile End Road in a creative programme of activities that promote independence, health and wellbeing, while Paul White won Care UK’s maintenance award for creating dementia-friendly environments.
Katherine was nominated for the award by Care UK’s regional director Violet Kotu. Violet said: “Katherine leads her team from the front. She is dedicated to improving the lives of all residents and she is always looking for new ways of enhancing residents’ wellbeing and quality of life.
“This has included empowering her team to develop an incredible range of activities and trips that are designed to rekindle, for all the participants, their joy and zest for living. I know, for example, the trip to the seaside, eating fish and chips and walking along the prom, brought back happy memories that are invaluable to help carers communicate.”
The judges in the awards said they were impressed with Katherine’s commitment to helping her team develop an understanding of dementia, the effects it has on residents and the techniques that can be used to communicate with a person to reveal their interests, likes and dislikes and what they want from their care.
Katherine said she was honoured by the awards that were presented to her and Paul by Care UK’s chief executive Mike Parish at the awards ceremony in Oxford on Thursday 14th November.
“I have a wonderful team who have a passion for delivering genuinely person-centred care that represents the real wishes of each of our residents. They seem to have a boundless energy and a will to support residents in their choices and relatives with the emotional upsets that can come when a loved one has dementia.
“They also run an 8am – 8pm drop-in service that helps people in the community and gives relatives a well-earned break. The list of activities and trips they have planned is inspiring.”
Paul White was nominated for his award by one of Care UK’s national dementia training specialists, Andrew Potts, who said: “I trained Paul and the team on the effects dementia has on people’s perceptions, senses and memories and he was very keen to use his new knowledge.
“He helps to get residents involved in activities – particularly in the garden – and does everything he can to help people to live more fulfilled lives. One gentleman would not come out of his room and stayed in bed all day. Paul visited him several times a day over a long period and, with lots of time and gentle persuasion, Paul has been able to encourage him to have his meals and take part in the life of the home.”
Paul said: “I was amazed and delighted to receive the award. I find Tall Trees a very rewarding environment to work in as we all have the opportunity to make people’s lives more fulfilling and enjoyable.”
These awards – which were open to all Care UK homes and wellbeing centres across the country – follow the Tall Trees team’s success at the National Dementia Care Awards earlier this month when they were named Dementia Team of the Year.