I’ve worked in care for many years, as a field care supervisor in a domiciliary care agency, and as a carer myself. I wanted to join an organisation that had a vision of care and care delivery that was in line with my own, and that’s why I joined Care UK in 2014. It was a huge highlight for me, being appointed as home manager here at Tiltwood.
There are many different elements involved in being a home manager but by far the aspect that I enjoy the most is walking around the home interacting with residents and their families. Whatever I’m doing day-to-day, my priority is always to ensure we’re offering the best possible care to residents so that they can live a fulfilled life in our home.
I like to unwind by cooking or going on road trips and driving holidays. I find driving relaxing and will drive many miles just for fun.
My background is in acting and the Arts: I spent twenty years working as an actress and was in a number of West End theatre productions. I then went into healthcare, and was a healthcare assistant at the Kent and Sussex Hospital orthopaedic trauma unit for five years. When I moved to Surrey, I thought this experience would make me a good fit to work at Tiltwood. I’ve been here since 2011.
Every day is different when you work in a care home, and you’re caring for many older people who are living with dementia. Patience is vital, and my acting skills have been useful too at times!
I still enjoy music and the Arts, and I love seeing residents enjoying activities related to these areas. It’s very rewarding to spend time with residents, learning about their life stories and getting involved in big activities – those are the times I most enjoy.
Catering has always been a part of my life: I’ve worked in schools, pubs and golf clubs. I joined Tiltwood in 2016 because I wanted to work in my local community.
Understanding and catering for different dietary requirements is obviously one of the big differences when you work in care home catering. A number of residents need to have modified meals to boost their calorie intake, or they need a soft diet because they have difficulty swallowing. Being able to produce a modified meal quickly has been one of my biggest challenges, particularly if a resident is a new, emergency admission.
I love seeing plates coming back to the kitchen empty, knowing that residents have enjoyed the meal we’ve served them. One of the best parts of my job is seeing a new resident, who has moved to the home very frail and poorly, gaining health and strength thanks to the great care and good meals Tiltwood provides.
I’ve always loved working in the care sector – I couldn’t imagine working in any other profession. I spent many years as a care manager before deciding I wanted to get back into the administrative/business side of care. I joined Tiltwood to do this role in 2016.
My hands-on experience as a carer is very helpful in this job – as is my ability to juggle multiple tasks. Understanding and supporting relatives and colleagues is also part of my role. I enjoy recruiting and helping to retain great colleagues, because having the right people on board benefits residents, the home and Care UK.
Tiltwood recently underwent some redecoration and refurbishment, and it’s been lovely to see the residents enjoying and appreciating their spruced up environment. We’ve a lovely strong family atmosphere and team spirit here, which I love and everyone appreciates.
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