The owner of a care home who gained an insight into the needs of dementia patients when her own father suffered from the illness is in line for a prestigious award.
Over the years Liz Durlucia has used her specialist knowledge to provide the best possible care for residents of the Tŷ Bryn Home in Brynteg, Abersychan, which she runs with her husband Adam.
Her dedication to providing the best possible quality of life has led to her being shortlisted for one of this year’s Wales Care Awards. The awards are organised by Care Forum Wales to recognise exceptional service in the care sector and Liz was nominated in the category for Excellence in Dementia Care.
The glittering ceremony will be held at City Hall, Cardiff, on November 17 and will be hosted by singer and presenter Wynne Evans, popularly known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV advert.
Liz, 47, who lives in Bridgend, formerly worked in the IT department of Lloyds TSB but switched careers 15 years ago when she started working at the Cardiff residential home owned by her parents-in-law.
When they retired she and Adam took over, and they moved to Tŷ Bryn nine years ago. Seeing the need for greater provision for dementia patients, they decided to concentrate on that sector. She has since gained a qualification to train staff and carries out her own research to help improve the standard of care.
Liz was nominated for the award by the home’s deputy manager Rachel Clarke who commented on her enthusiasm for the work.
She has also established a support service for people in the local community who suffer from dementia or are carers.
The nomination was supported by former Newport Council social worker Chris Tolliday who last year nominated Tŷ Bryn for an Age Cymru award. He wrote: “Providing care to 20 residents who have varying degrees of memory and behaviour problems is never an easy talk but the staff at Tŷ Bryn are well trained and informed, and work hard to maximise the residents’ individual abilities.
“Tŷ Bryn goes that extra mile to find solutions and provide dementia care in a warm and caring homely environment. I cannot thank them enough.”
Liz, whose father Anthony died last year, was surprised and delighted to be shortlisted and is looking forward to attending the ceremony.
“I love what I do and find it so rewarding making a difference to peoples’ lives,” she said. “When I come in it doesn’t feel like coming into work, but just like coming from one home to another.”
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her three children aged 11, 16 and 18, reading and walking the dogs on Newbridge Fields. Husband Adam is a keen supporter of Bridgend Athletics Rugby Club.
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”