Care home where residents, staff and relatives are one happy family

PUBLISHED: 15:29 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:28 24 January 2020

Shaheem Chowdury (centre), care worker at Gold Care Homes was recognised for his efforts by winning the 'Compassion in Care' Award at the Hertfordshire Care Awards. Picture: The Hertfordshire Care Awards

Shaheem Chowdury (centre), care worker at Gold Care Homes was recognised for his efforts by winning the 'Compassion in Care' Award at the Hertfordshire Care Awards. Picture: The Hertfordshire Care Awards

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Through the bad days and good days, The Autumn Vale activities team help residents at Gold Care Homes believe in themselves and feel empowered. Leader Shameem Chowdhury is an award-winning care worker within Gold Care Homes, having recently won an award at The Hertfordshire Care Awards.

Driven by a challenging early introduction to care of the elderly, Shameem set about changing the perception of care. Picture: Getty ImagesDriven by a challenging early introduction to care of the elderly, Shameem set about changing the perception of care. Picture: Getty Images

Driven by a challenging early introduction to care of the elderly, Shameem set about changing the perception of care. Shameem said "I saw people being quietly managed with no stimulation or fun along the way."

After developing his style and bringing a creative approach to elderly activities, Shameem was recognised for his efforts by winning the Compassion in Care Award at the prestigious Hertfordshire Care Awards in November 2019.

The activities schedule has changed the lives of the residents at Autumn Vale. Picture: Getty ImagesThe activities schedule has changed the lives of the residents at Autumn Vale. Picture: Getty Images

The judges praised his efforts in bringing joy and fulfilment to the residents. One of the judges said: "Shameem was rewarded for his creative activities schedule, promoting the residents' cognitive function and engaging their emotional intelligence. He also created opportunities for clients and loved ones to interact during activities and build lasting memories."

Shameem's activities schedule has changed the lives of the residents at Autumn Vale and now has his sights on driving change across the other 20 Gold Care Homes across the country.

Driven by the importance of trust from residents and their families, he comments: "I want to make people happy and to do that I need to get to know them and earn their trust. Families, too, are at the heart of the success of our project."

Upholding Gold Care Homes' values, Shameem ensures that families are kept informed of their loved ones' bad days as well as good days, fostering a sense of involvement and control through initiatives; such as the personalised albums which record residents' daily activities at the care home.

Asvin Jhoollun, manager at Autumn Vale said: "Gold Care Homes' mission is to 'enhance the lives of residents in care by bringing them joy, happiness and fulfilment' and Shameem's accolade for Compassion in Care at the Hertfordshire Care Awards is proof that the Gold Care team are storming the care industry."

The Autumn Vale activities team, led by Shameem, hold communal activities that cater to the interests of the residents, including films, games, outings and "brain exercises". Shameem explains: "We do this every day and people love it. It makes them believe in themselves and feel empowered."

In addition, once a week, all care staff including management take time out for a "happy hour", engaging with residents and getting to know them. This was another one of Shameem's ideas that has helped improve resident engagement.

All visitors, professional or family, are also expected to make a "two-minute stop", introducing themselves to residents and explaining the purpose of their visit. "You wouldn't expect strangers to walk into your home with explanation," says Shameem. "This is our residents' home so it's only right they know who's coming and going."

Shameem's route into care was sparked by a painful experience, the death of his beloved father. "I couldn't be there when he was ill," he explains. "When it was over, it made me want to do something good, to give back to the local community, especially with the elderly." He gave up his career in the hospitality trade and trained to join the care sector, starting full time at Autumn Vale three years ago.

For more information about Gold Care Homes, visit www.goldcarehomes.com To contact a member of the team at Autumn Vale, Danesbury Park Road, Welwyn, AL6 9SN, call 01438 714491 or email autumnvale@goldcarehomes.com

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