Derek Breingan shares his experience of judging Scottish Care's Care at Home & Housing Support Awards 2017
I was fortunate to be asked to judge this year’s Care at Home Annual Care Awards for Scottish Care. This is a humbling and daunting task not only given the number of entries for the individual categories but also in having to choose a winner when so many dedicated and inspiring people have contributed to supporting and caring for people at home.
As someone who has worked with the sector for several years I am well aware of the challenges and complexities of providing individual, person-centred, quality care in someone’s home environment. People working in this sector have to possess a broad spectrum of abilities and a caring compassion for fellow human beings.
I live in a small quiet rural village in South Ayrshire and there are a large number of retired and elderly amongst the population. I have a neighbour with dementia and know of another resident in my street who is bed ridden and been house bound in the 4 years I have lived there. In walking round the village in a morning, lunchtime or early evening there is always a hive of activity with numerous care at home workers arriving at various cottages and houses to carry out their duties. What strikes you is how cheery and friendly they are no matter what time of day and in hearing them opening the door and warmly greeting the resident inside. What that must mean to the individual receiving the visit cannot be imagined. Never mind the care, even just that interaction and a friendly face must be a huge tonic.
These rural villages have many people who have grown up there and probably never moved far. They are part of the fabric, the community, the very demographic that attracts people to retire to the country. How different it would be if they could not be cared for in their home. The nearest care home facility is small and 4 miles away with the remainder some 10 miles plus within the nearest main town. Many of these people still manage out to the local village shop or to the church and continue to support village activity and the community.
The positive impact therefore not only for the cared for but also the wider village is significant and is probably underestimated by the very dedicated people who provide the necessary care.
So a judge tasked with picking a winning care at home business or a care at home employee is indeed put in a difficult position because so many do so much every day, seven days a week, every week of the year for someone’s neighbour, friend or family member.
Head of Health and Social Care Sector UK
Corporate and Structured Finance
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank plc