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Six nominees from Care UK reach finals of prestigious national care awards

Company news

They are:

Elaine Carruthers, manager of The Orchard Centre in Epsom, nominated in the category of Best Dementia Manager in a Community Setting for creating excellent specialist dementia day care services in Surrey.

Maizie Mears-Owens and Karen Morrison, short-listed in the category of Dementia Care Team of the Year for outstanding work improving the levels of happiness and mobility experienced by people with dementia.

Bill Roarty, manager of the recently-opened Heather View residential care home in East Grinstead, Sussex, which has reached the finals in the category for Best Interior Dementia Design.

Carole Wardle, manager at Care UK’s Station House home in Crewe, Cheshire, and unit manager Kelly Harrison.  Kelly is a finalist in the Life Time Achievement category and  Carole has been nominated for the Dignity in Dementia award.

The aim of The Orchard Centre 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 trust with families, so that they feel comfortable when their loved one goes off to spend time at the centre – either to enjoy a regular visit, or on those occasions when carers are going away or need a short break.

Karen and Maizie’s pioneering 'experiential training' has enabled their care home colleagues to experience, first-hand, the effects of dementia such as impairments to vision, hearing and physical mobility. Maizie said: “Participants say they leave the course with a much better idea of how the world can appear frustrating and confusing to someone who has dementia. They quickly realise how they can tailor their approach to make the care they deliver more sensitive to individual residents’ needs.”

The 74-bed Heather View home, which specialises in care for people with dementia, was built as a vision of care homes of the future. It is also the first in Care UK’s promised wave of 30 new homes to be built during the next five years, each specialising in expert dementia care.

Bill Roarty is proud that Heather View has been recognised as: “A beautiful home that has been designed to be fun and stimulating to live in. Our residents love it and so do their families.  The interior ‘village centre’ area is definitely a big hit with grandchildren, and residents tell us that they enjoy being able to have lunch with friends and family at the coffee shop there and then catch a film at their own cinema."

The award nomination for Carole Wardle was sent in by her Station House colleague Sarah Evans, who says “Carole has made a difference to people’s lives, not just in this home, but across the north-west. She has helped carers to really understand dignity and ensure that we deliver it all day, every day, in every aspect of care. As dementia develops, communication becomes harder, and Carole has trained us to pick up the subtlest messages from every individual. She also gives us the skills and confidence to create truly individual person-centred care. This is not care by numbers and if anyone deserves this award, it is our Carole.”

Alongside Carole, Kelly Hanson is also deeply committed to improving life for everyone at the home.  For residents, she creates individually-tailored activities because she has taken the time to understand people’s likes and dislikes – even when their communication skills have become very limited - and she helps colleagues by developing their skills and encouraging them to be the best carers they can.Kelly’s energy knows no bounds; she has gained numerous qualifications since she joined the home at 16, and continues to train so that she can offer the very best care to the home’s 69 frail elderly residents, many of who have dementia. She also fundraises for charities and has spent much of her spare time creating or taking part in events to help cancer and dementia charities.


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