Elaine Carruthers, manager of the Orchard Centre in Epsom, has been named Best Dementia Care Manager in a Community Setting, for her work at the ground-breaking service she helped to create.
The announcement was made at the second annual National Dementia Congress, held in Liverpool this week, where judges praised the work of the 24/7 day centre in Longmead road that provides activity-focused care and mental health support, including respite care, for people in Surrey aged 50 or over.
Elaine, who went through a rigorous selection process that included being interviewed by a panel of dementia care experts in London, said: “I am delighted for myself, the team and the service users who all contribute to making the Orchard Centre the excellent service it is.
“Our services users see this as their club. They decide on their activities, they help with the day-to-day running of the centre such as washing up, dusting and gardening and they have a say in how the service develops and that is how it should be.
“Everyone wants to feel needed and if service users are active, they keep their life skills and that enables them to stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.
Judges praised Elaine’s tireless and passionate enthusiasm which she has passed on to her dedicated colleagues, leading to a truly excellent service.
The Orchard Centre is designed to give complete flexibility for 25 clients and their families. It is open 24 hours a day seven days a week and Elaine has worked to build families’ trust so that they can leave their loved one at the centre during the day or night when they are too tired to cope.