An innovative carer in Garstang has scooped a prestigious award for her work with dementia sufferers.
TV presenter Esther Rantzen, founder of the older people helpline the Silver Line, presented Emma Hardcastle, director of Bowland Care Services with the accolade at a special ceremony at Barton Grange Hotel.
Qualified nurse Emma and her team have been recognised by the Lancashire Workforce Development Partnership for their pioneering approach in dealing with dementia patients.
Emma’s home care agency, based in Lancaster Road, Cabus, last year launched a pilot scheme to improve support for people in their own homes.
Emma said: “It essentially has all been about raising awareness and sharing best methods of practice with other carers in the county.
“We are a relatively small provider, but I really wanted to push and improve the quality of care for people in their own homes and in just 12 months since we set up the scheme, we have really noticed a difference.” Emma said she and her team of eight home carers were really proud of the award and were now hoping to use the recognition to further their work.
She added: “We really have done a lot of work – different courses, workshops. You can never know enough about dementia. It’s massively important to ensure the families and carers have the right support and advice when managing day to day and very simple things make a huge difference.
“What we need now is better understanding on a wider scale – the people in the butchers and bakers. We’ve still a long way to go.” Another recipient of the award was Lilia Higginson, of Kepplegate Care Services, in Sandy Lane, Preesall.
Esther, 73, said: “It’s very important to celebrate best practice because that way you get the best staff attracted to this crucial work. There’s no question it’s going to make a difference.
“What the award recipients know, and what I know, is that good care which offers people not only safety and security but also friendship and the chance to have some fun, transforms peoples’ lives not just for the people in the care homes but their families too. So it couldn’t be more important.”