An exceptional nursing home maintenance man has scooped a care award for his work helping residents at Elmstead House, Hendon, to live active and fulfilling lives.
Care UK provides residential care for more than 5,000 people in 88 homes across England and Scotland and Mircea Pasca beat off tough competition to be named Care Supporter of the Year 2011.
Diane Maddeford, who manages the 50-bed home that provides specialist care for older people with dementia, said: “The residents and staff love and value Mircea and he really deserves this award. He is incredibly innovative and he demonstrates dedication, passion and commitment in everything he does.”
Staff are amazed at Mircea’s energy and nothing seems too much for him to do for the residents. Many love spending time in the garden and he created a unique gazebo, fitted with seats, for residents and their families to sit and chat, and walkways for them to be able to exercise and admire his hanging baskets. His greenhouse has also kept the kitchen supplied with fresh vegetables and herbs.
He created a pets’ corner and recreation area for the animals, fashioned an altar out of an old computer table and created a lectern for the chapel out of an old wardrobe.
Diane said: “People with dementia often feel calmer and more relaxed with sensitive light and audio stimulation. Mircea worked with me to create a sensory room which he then very cleverly kitted out and fitted. It has been a great hit with residents who love spending time in the room.
Residents also like activity in the home and, thanks to the ingenuity of the activity coordinators, residents have had lots of themed events including Burns Night and Valentine’s Day, and Mircea always creates fun and colourful decorative themes.
Mircea said: “I never thought work could give me so much satisfaction. I know that I like to be treated as an individual, and so it is essential to treat people as I would like to be treated myself. I like to create for them what I would enjoy to have around me.
“I discovered that, if I looked carefully at something old from the right angle, I could become creative and innovative, transforming an apparently useless object into a new and special item that can touch people’s hearts.
“Working with such a manager and staff, and chatting to all our residents, I realised that all you need to make people happy is dedication, respect, understanding and a willingness to give a new ‘’life’ to objects. My motto is: ‘All life is an experiment.’ The more experiments you make the better.”