Gracewell of Kentford’s Memory Care Lead shortlisted for national award

Gracewell  |  October 14, 2019
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Gracewell of Kentford’s Memory Care Lead, Leanne Thomas, has been nominated in the Best Dementia Lead category at the National Dementia Care Awards.

The National Dementia Care Awards is a yearly event that recognises excellence in the dementia care sector. There are 16 categories at the awards which all focus on contributions that work towards making person-centred care a reality. Leanne is a finalist in the Best Dementia Lead category which recognises a specialist ‘who has demonstrated an expert level of skill, knowledge, management and leadership’.

Leanne is passionate about dementia care and has implemented several new initiatives at the home. She was heavily involved in Gracewell’s Cognitive Stimulation Therapy trial to help stimulate thinking and memory in residents living with moderate dementia. The trial resulted in the therapy being rolled out in several other Gracewell homes. She has also led the introduction of ‘life skills’ stations over the past year that offer a space for residents to take part in new stimulating and enjoyable activities.

Key to Leanne’s nomination is her work in personalising dementia care for residents. She spends a significant amount of time educating the families of resident about dementia and actively includes them in decision making. This was key for one resident whose wife had recently died, by speaking to his family and understanding his passion for DIY, she tailored his activities to encourage him to spend more time out of his room and become more sociable again. Additionally, she was recognised for organising activities that cater to the specific wishes of residents, for example organising a ‘World Rocks Against Dementia’ event at the home so that a couple living there would have an event to be able to dance together again.

The awards are organised by The Journal of Dementia Care and the winners will be announced on Thursday 7th November at the Doncaster Racecourse.

Jackie Pool, Director of Memory Care at Gracewell Healthcare, said:

“I am hugely pleased to see Leanne shortlisted in the Best Dementia Lead category. The successful Cognitive Stimulation Therapy trial she ran has had a direct impact in improving the quality of life for our residents. 

“Having worked in care homes her whole adult life, Leanne is someone that exemplifies the knowledge and experience our team members have at Gracewell. She really understands personalised care and I look forward to seeing her further innovations at Gracewell of Kentford.”