Elaine Carruthers, manager of the Orchard Centre, Longmead Road, Epsom, has reached the finals of the prestigious National Dementia Care Awards for creating excellent community care services for Surrey residents with dementia.
Elaine, who has reached the finals of the Best Dementia Manager in a Community Setting award, was delighted at being shortlisted for the leading dementia care prize. She said; “All the staff and clients are very happy. My team are wonderful and dedicated and the clients take a very active part in the day-to-day running of the centre, so I see this as a nomination for all of us.”
The aim of The Orchard Centre, run by Care UK, is to help people with dementia to remain independent, active and socially engaged – enabling them to stay living in their own homes. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has become a lifeline for dementia sufferers and their families. Elaine has worked to build families’ trust so that they can leave their loved one at the centre during the day or night whenever they need a break.
Jeni Rushton, manager of Care UK’s Appleby House care home, which is attached to the Orchard Centre, said: “Elaine is a wonderful and caring person who has developed a unique service that helps so many people in the area. She has trained her team to really listen to what people say so that they can identify their needs and interests and then they create great activities that keep clients active, engaged and happy. The centre has the atmosphere of a club where everyone joins in and does their share, rather than the feel of care provision.
“By encouraging clients to set tables, make drinks or wash-up, not only is Elaine preserving their life-skills and independence, but also giving them back a sense of purpose and a feeling of being needed, which is central to anyone’s sense of well-being.
“She welcomes the community into the centre and she helps clients keep their active lives in the community. If anyone deserves this award, it is her.”
The winners will be announced on Wednesday 2nd November at the Crown Plaza, Liverpool.