Job puts years on Washington care home boss Suzanne

EXPERIENCING CARE: Suzanne Hughes, care home area manager, during her a day as a pensioner to experience life in St George's nursing home, Harraton.  With her is nurse Joyce Swainston.

EXPERIENCING CARE: Suzanne Hughes, care home area manager, during her a day as a pensioner to experience life in St George's nursing home, Harraton. With her is nurse Joyce Swainston.

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A SENIOR care worker spent the day as a pensioner to experience life in a care home.

Suzanne Hughes, Wellburn Care Homes’ area manager, became an OAP for the day at the company’s St George’s nursing and residential home in Harraton, Washington.

The idea was part of an ongoing drive by the firm to keep standards high in its 14 residential homes in the North East and Yorkshire, as well as ensuring managers continue to understand the human side of its business.

For her role as an elderly person, which included spending time in a wheelchair and being totally reliant on others to help her, Suzanne was required to follow the same routine as the other residents in the home.

This included taking part in the daily activities, having meals at the same time and even being escorted to the toilet and bed.

She said: “It was very interesting to see life in a care home through the eyes of a resident and how as an able-bodied person you take very simple things, like being able to get up unaided from a chair, for granted.

“This is something that all managers at Wellburn will now do as part of their ongoing development and if we can learn from this and further improve the service and quality of life for our residents, then it is very worthwhile.”

The idea for encouraging the senior managers to spend a day in the life of an elderly resident came from Wellburn managing director Karl Beckett.

He said: “As the people running the business we feel it is vital that our senior managers spend as much time as possible in our homes so they can see what goes on day-to-day.

“By spending a full day living as a resident, the managers will learn what it feels like to be old, and in the majority of cases infirm, and more importantly what the standard of care is that people receive in one of our homes.

“It may be embarrassing for them to ask to be helped to the toilet but this is exactly the sort of situation our residents go through every day of their lives.”

Twitter: @sunechoschools.