I’ve always worked in residential care – my first job was as an administration and finance assistant at a care home. That was in the late 1980s. Over the years I’ve gained experience of many of the roles within a care home, from care assistant to finance manager. I’ve been a care home manager since 2005 and have managed a number of homes in and around the north east of England.
My approach as a manager is to make sure every resident is cared for in the same way that you’d care for a member of your own family. I spend as much time as I can with residents, chatting with them in the lounges and dining areas. I have a policy that I spend some time every morning saying hello and catching up with everyone before I get stuck into work.
I’ve worked in the care sector, on and off, for many years – initially when I left school. When my children left home, I decided to get back into care. I started as a carer at The Terrace before moving into activities.
The best part of my role is seeing everyone smiling and laughing – even if they’re just chatting to each other. Our work can have some great outcomes for residents. One lady, who had been in hospital for a long time being nursed in bed, wanted to walk again. We worked with her, doing chair exercises and building her confidence, and eventually got her walking again. It made a huge difference to her life.
I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the activities we offer at The Terrace. You never know what each day’s going to bring, and there’s always something to look forward to.
I’m proud to say that I’ve worked at The Terrace since 1992. I still look forward to serving the residents each day, having a chat with them, and finding a way to make their lives better through food.
There’s always something to focus on, whether it’s developing new menus or finding a way to give an individual resident a personalised experience. When a lady needed to have a soft diet, it meant she was no longer able to eat her beloved bourbon biscuits. I found a way to develop a soft version for her, so she didn’t miss out.
It was a huge highlight to make it to the 2018 finals of the Care Home Awards in the nutrition and food category. We always consult with residents about what they’d like more of on the menu. Recently they said more ‘good Yorkshire food’, so that’s what we did.