A Crail woman who has battled against dementia to lead a better life has landed a well-deserved award nomination.
Margaret Lamb, 72, developed dementia at a younger-than-average age, and became a resident at Bupa’s Balnacarron Care Home in St Andrews, Fife, three years ago – a decision that has helped to dramatically improve her quality of life.
Staff at Balnacarron were quick to recognise the lack of confidence and low self-esteem that Margaret was suffering from when she arrived at the home. But her sheer determination and the right standard of care has seen her fight back to enjoy a fuller life, which now includes singing in a local choir and going on regular walks with the care home dog, Bonnie.
Margaret has now been nominated for the Care Home Resident Achievement Award at the 2015 Scottish Care – National Care Home Awards, which recognises her commitment to leading a normal life.*
Elaine Onyiuke, Home Manager at Balnacarron, said: “When Margaret first came to live with us she had lost a lot of her independence and her self-confidence was low. We were eager to go out of our way to make sure she received the best possible care to help her regain her confidence and sense of personal freedom.
“When we discovered that she used to be part of a choir, we encouraged Margaret to become involved with singing again and she now sings with her choir every Tuesday, which made a huge difference.”
Margaret has now regained much of her independence and is able to venture out on her own in St Andrews thanks to a GPS tracing device acquired by the care staff. She is also part of a gardening club and regularly volunteers at the local Salvation Army charity shop.
Elaine added: “We knew she had previously been a keen walker, so we pushed hard and persevered to get the GPS tracking device, which has worked really well. She is now able to get out and about daily on her own, and often goes for a coffee or a walk on the beach in St Andrews. She also really enjoys taking Bonnie along with her.”
Margaret’s willpower has now been recognised by the award nomination, which Elaine and her colleagues believe is very well deserved.
Elaine continued: “We are all very proud of Margaret and the progress she has made. She has really grasped the opportunities we’ve helped her to access with both hands.
“Her nomination is recognition of her journey and the perseverance and effort she has put into leading a positive life. I’m also delighted at the recognition this award brings to the staff at Balnacarron Care Home. They have provided a stellar level of care to help Margaret to regain her independence.
“It highlights the often unseen but vital role that care homes play in helping people to live fulfilled and happy lives.
“We all have our fingers crossed for the big night – but either way Margaret is a winner in our eyes.”
The Scottish Care – National Care Home Awards will be held at the Glasgow Hilton on the Friday 20th November 2015.
* Scotland’s care homes deliver high quality complex care to some of Scotland’s most vulnerable older people. The Scottish Care – National Care Home Awards Care Homes is the showpiece opportunity to highlight and celebrate innovation and excellence across the sector.
Care Home Resident Achievement Award: This exciting award is open to all residents. The award seeks to celebrate the lives of individuals and their continued achievements whether within the home or the wider community. It will be awarded to an individual resident or group of residents who have overcome difficulties, tried something new or accomplished something they didn’t think they could, either by themselves or with the support of their carers.