A dementia expert from Deganwy has been honoured with a gold award for her work – along with her song and dance skills.
Mum of two Jane Geraghty, 42, won the category for Excellence in Dementia Care and the social care Oscars, the Wales Care Awards.
The glittering ceremony sponsored by Barclays Bank and organised by Care Forum Wales at City Hall in Cardiff was hosted by TV presenter Lucy Owen.
According to Jane, who works as a specialist dementia care assistant at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution home at Craig y Don, Llandudno, it was a very proud occasion.
Jane, who has been a carer for 12 years, said: “I had a wonderful time and it was quite humbling to hear about what people have achieved in the care sector.”
“I just love what I do, helping people. To me it isn’t just a job, because I love it so much.”
Her colleagues say she will sometimes perform an impromptu song and dance to keep her residents happy. “I try to treat them as I would wish myself or my family to be treated,” she explained.
After a special course she was selected to be a dementia care assistant in a unit which opened almost two years ago. It has seven residents, an ideal figure to tend for their needs, and has achieved Dementia Care Matters Butterfly Status.
Her Excellence in Dementia Care award was sponsored by MPS Healthcare.
The home manager, Lucie Williams, who nominated her, said: “Jane puts aside her own feelings and thoughts and willingly sings aloud, dances, and creates a positive, comfortable, happy environment for both residents and staff.”
She now plays a pivotal part in the mixed unit, known as Criccieth Lane, which has a dedicated team of five.
Lucie said Jane adopts the approach of “feelings matter most” and focuses on personal centred care for each of the residents, being “inspiring and creative in her care delivery.”
She is enrolled for a Dementia Diploma and should become the home’s dementia care trainer, using what Lucie calls “her infectious passion to ensure that every resident is regarded as an individual, with care being ‘with the resident not for the resident’.”
Lucie says modest Jane ensures that new ideas are shared with the team, including her seniors.
The home manager added: “Jane always supports carers who are new to Criccieth Lane and shares her knowledge, providing coaching and support.”
Mario Kreft, chairman of Care Forum Wales, said there was a record number of nominations this year and the standard was extremely high. He added at the annual event: “There are only winners here tonight so it is only fitting that the finalists will receive a gold, silver or bronze Wales Care Award.
“I trust that they will continue to inspire those around them as role models and encourage others to aspire to even greater heights in the months and years to come.
“This awards ceremony is our opportunity to pay tribute and to celebrate the talent and commitment that is improving the quality of life for thousands and thousands of people throughout Wales.
“We take our hats off to them.”