Heavers Court carer who learnt Greek to support a care home resident has been named as an Unsung Hero by a national magazine.
Graham Clark, who became a carer six years ago after more than 20 years as a secretary and PA in household name companies, has been named a Caring Times Unsung Hero for his work supporting a resident at Heavers Court.
Graham, who is a firm favourite with colleagues, residents and their relatives for his upbeat and positive attitude, impressed judges with his patience and commitment to person-centred care.
Home manager Natasha Leslie explained: “Two years ago we were joined by a Greek lady, who didn’t speak English, and this could have led to her becoming isolated. However, Graham has taken the time to learn some Greek and to find ways to communicate with her, making her life more comfortable and enjoyable.
“Her family have provided key words and together the two laugh and joke, which makes her feel happy and included. Graham also goes the extra mile to see what additional food she might like, as she can't communicate her preferences directly. She completely trusts Graham and they have a genuine connection that’s lovely to see. His approach also brings her family great comfort.”
Graham, 52, said: “I think humour is vital to wellbeing and that is as true for people living with dementia as anyone else. I like to get to know residents well. This enables me to communicate with them and tailor their care to their personalities and interests, not just to their needs.
“I enjoy my second career and would not change it for the world. As a young man, I would never have considered a career in care but, as you age, your values change. I love going home at night knowing that I have done a day’s work that has had a positive impact on a resident’s life.
“I have been offered promotion several times, but I know that would lead me to spend time away from the residents and I would not want that.”