Awards for de­men­tia care cen­tre of­fi­cer

Bangor Mail - - YOUR COMMUNITY -

A WO­MAN whose “life pur­pose” is look­ing af­ter peo­ple with de­men­tia has won two ma­jor ti­tles at the so­cial care Os­cars.

Pam Cuf­fin won gold in the Dig­nity in Care cat­e­gory, spon­sored by the Welsh Govern­ment, and sil­ver in the Ex­cel­lence in De­men­tia Award at the pres­ti­gious Wales Care Awards (pic­tured).

An ac­tiv­i­ties of­fi­cer at Fair­ways Newydd Nurs­ing and De­men­tia Care Cen­tre at Llan­fair­p­wll, Pam said: “It was a bril­liant night, but now it’s back to what I do best. Look­ing af­ter peo­ple suf­fer­ing from de­men­tia is my life’s pur­pose.”

The event, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 15th an­niver­sary this year, was held at City Hall in Cardiff. The awards are or­gan­ised by Care Fo­rum Wales, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th an­niver­sary this year.

The Dig­nity in Care gold was pre­sented by Huw Ir­ranca-Davies, Welsh Govern­ment Min­is­ter for Chil­dren, Older Peo­ple and So­cial Care.

The Ex­cel­lence and De­men­tia Award was spon­sored by HC-One Ltd, which op­er­ates more than 300 care homes through­out the UK, and Pam’s sil­ver was pre­sented by Ana Palazan, direc­tor for Wales, Parkin­son’s UK Cymru.

Pam used a diary she and her sis­ter kept about her father’s ex­pe­ri­ences of de­men­tia to help other suf­fer­ers.

Her father died in a nurs­ing home in 2014 and soon af­ter her sis­ter also trag­i­cally passed away.

But she wrote a book based on her and her sis­ter Joan’s di­aries about her dad’s bat­tle with de­men­tia and her fas­ci­na­tion with the dis­ease and those liv­ing with it has con­tin­ued to grow.

Pam, aged 57, who lives in Holy­head with hus­band Robin, was nom­i­nated by Mark Bai­ley, manag­ing direc­tor of Fair­ways Newydd Ltd.

Af­ter her father died she took a job as a carer in a res­i­den­tial home, then a full-time job as an ac­tiv­i­ties co-or­di­na­tor at Fair­ways Newydd Nurs­ing and De­men­tia Cen­tre and for the first time could give free rein to her de­sire to pro­vide ‘mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­ity and gen­uine oc­cu­pa­tion to peo­ple liv­ing with de­men­tia’.

“Peo­ple with de­men­tia come alive be­fore your eyes,” says Pam. “Cog­ni­tive de­cline just slips away as soon as you tap into a skill from the past.”

Pam has es­tab­lished Bleak to Chic, a fur­ni­ture ren­o­va­tion busi­ness, with res­i­dents liv­ing with de­men­tia.

“Lo­cal auc­tion house Mor­gan Evans of Gaer­wen have been very good and taken items with­out charg­ing a fee,” she said.

“We paint our ren­o­vated fur­ni­ture in very bright colours, yel­lows and reds and never greys or browns which are nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with de­men­tia.

“The colours are like a bea­con of hope.”

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