A council worker who introduced a pioneering training programme to help care home staff transform the lives of people living with dementia is in line for a top award.
Beverley Larkins, from Oswestry, who is a staff development and training officer at Wrexham Council, has played a pivotal role in equipping care homes with the skills and knowledge to better understand and support residents’ and ultimately give them better quality of life.
Care home staff now have more knowledge of the different types of dementia and are better placed to support residents when they become frustrated or agitated.
This has resulted in Beverley being nominated for the Excellence in Dementia Care award in the Wales Care Awards 2017, which take place at City Hall in Cardiff tomorrow.
The prestigious national awards, run by Care Forum Wales and dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the social care sector, acknowledge the hard-work and exceptional performance of those in the sector.
The mum-of-one said: “It was a massive surprise when I found out because I’m just doing what I love to do.
“I enjoy my job – I enjoy every minute of what I do. But of course I’m delighted to have been nominated.”
Ultimately the positive impact the changes have had on the lives of residents is the most important factor and pleases Beverley the most.
She said: “The programme has helped staff recognise that people with dementia get very frustrated because they often can’t communicate what they want or how they feel.
“Our staff can recognise when they are getting agitated, and to be tolerant and patient.
“We encourage individuals and family members to engage with the past – bring in photographs to reminisce so they can talk about old stories. It creates nice memories for everyone.”
In nominating Beverley for the award, trainer assessor Tracey Evans said: “Dementia is very close to Bev’s heart and she is very passionate.
“Bev is passionate that individuals with dementia are not seen as people with dementia but individuals firstly.
“Bev is very supportive of staff to ensure they have the right support to get the care right.
“She embeds the code of professional practice into her training and ensures everyone has an understanding of their responsibilities to implement these as part of their duty of care.
“Bev is a member of the Dementia Friendly Communities Group for Wrexham and has completed numerous events to date to raise awareness and money for the group.”
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