- Best of Shrewsbury 30th April 2014
A former nurse has won a top regional accolade for her work caring for older people in Shrewsbury with dementia.
Pippa Benger, a CAREGiver with Home Instead Senior Care Shrewsbury Ludlow and Oswestry, was named Dementia Carer of the Year at the 2014 Shropshire Partners In Care Awards.
She was presented with the award by Paralympic champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson at an awards ceremony at the Lord Hill Hotel, Shrewsbury.
Home Instead Senior Care was also shortlisted as a finalist in the award for Promoting Dignity and Respect in Care and its caregiver Janie Roots, of Church Stretton, was shortlisted for Carer of the Year in the domiciliary care category.
Judges heard that Pippa, of Exfords Green, near Shrewsbury, often went beyond the call of duty and had been able to affect an enormous tranformation in the lives and happiness of elderly couples in her care.
“Pippa has a very sensitive way of dealing with people. She has shown great tactfulness and resourcefulness in handling the special challenges of dementia care and built relationships of trust,” said Rachael Birchall, who founded the Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Oswestry branch of Home Instead Senior Care, just over a year ago.
“In one case, in particular, a lady with dementia was highly resistant to having any help in the home, despite herself and her husband being in a stressed and vulnerable position. But Pippa’s softly softly approach won her trust and she’s made enorrmous inroads into turning their lives around.”
Discovering that the lady, in her late 80s, had once been a member of an operatic society, Pippa arranged for the couple to attend a performance of Carmen at Theatre Severn.
“She had played Carmen herself and, despite our seats being in the top circle of the auditorium, she skipped up those steps,” said Pippa, 46.
She is taking the couple to another theatre performance in May.
“It’s very lovely to be recognised for what I do,” said Pippa, who worked as a nurse for 20 years.
“To me it’s good old fashioned personal care. Having that time and patience, consistency of care and respect for people’s privacy. It’s also about talking to them about their interests in life.”
Rachael added that excellent dementia care was the reason why she set up the company, following the devastating effects of poor dementia care that she had witnessed on other older people, including her grandfather.
“So for Pippa to get this award means so much to me and the company. We’re very selective about the people we recruit as CAREGivers and Pippa is an excellent example of that. Dementia cannot be cured, but with good care its progress can be slowed down,” she said.
Pippa’s role involves visiting clients in their homes, being a companion and friend to them and helping them with whatever tasks they need, from household chores and bathing to assistance with hobbies or getting to medical appointments.
From June, Home Instead Senior Care will be running free dementia care workshops in Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Oswestry.
For further information contact 01743 387650.