Care UK, which serves more than 5,200 people in 88 residential homes and day centres across England and Scotland, named The Orchard Centre winner of its 2011 Fulfilling Lives award for providing life-enhancing, activity-focused care for people as young as 50 with dementia.
The award was collected by award-winning manager, Elaine Carruthers. Her team engages service users in day-to-day activities to maintain their life skills and independence, as well as using activities such as fitness classes, games and current affairs discussion groups to keep mind and body active.
Regional Director Karen Seabrook, who nominated her for the award, said: “Elaine’s enthusiasm, energy and commitment to delivering high quality, truly personalized, activity-based care never falters.
“She never turns anyone away, even if there have been issues in other care settings, because she knows the key is really listening to the person, understanding their needs and then delivering the care they need in the way that suits them.”
And it is not just staff and residents who have praised Elaine. In this year’s Relatives’ Survey, the Orchard Centre scored a 96 per cent approval rating from residents’ relatives for the centre’s excellent levels of care, support, activities and facilities. Surrey County Council has also praised the service as ‘an aspiration for the future of day care clubs’ with Elaine’s leadership style singled out for praise.
Frances Gibson, Care UK’s Director of Clinical Governance said: “The judges were very impressed with the relaxed, club-like atmosphere Elaine has created. That level of service looks easy to the casual observer, but it can only be achieved by exceptional management, training and dedication to the belief that every service user has a unique voice and a desire to live a truly fulfilled life. Elaine has achieved that and has helped many people to keep up the life skills that will keep them independent and in their home.”