Adele Lusher of Akari Care shares how she took Park House in Newcastle upon Tyne from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ in all areas in just seven months.
How did you join Akari Care?
I was looking for a change in direction from my career in the NHS and particularly wanted to focus more on elderly care. I saw a job advertised as a deputy home manager with Akari Care, as I knew the company and some of their homes from visiting them as a district nurse, I decided to apply for this role. In 2018, I was appointed as home manager of Park House, a nearby Akari Care service.
What is special about Akari Care?
Residents’ wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. The residents come first and as a company we go above and beyond to help residents achieve everything they would like to achieve in their golden years. This is integral in all of our homes and every member of staff plays their part in helping Akari Care achieve this.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I have never had so much job satisfaction in my career as I have now. I love getting to know all our residents and understanding their personalities, likes and dislikes. Each person is different and brings their own uniqueness to our home. I love to chat with them and reminisce about their past, some of the stories I have heard are incredible.
What has been your proudest moment?
Working with the team to achieve a CQC rating of ‘good’ across all areas, when many people didn’t think it was possible. We first had to work at boosting staff moral in the home which had the biggest impact on not only the staff but also the residents too. The whole culture in the home has improved and everyone is happier at work and proud of the care we provide.
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was to improve the reputation of the home within the local community due to negative press and hearsay that the home had been receiving.
We achieved this by creating new local community links with the church and a local nursery to bring new visitors into the home, so they could see the positive changes we were making. These new community links have also enriched our residents’ lives, they love to see visitors in their home, especially the children from the nursery. We have held a lot of fairs and fundraisers to increase the profile of the home in and around the local community. These events have really improved how our community think of our home, visitors speak very highly of us and recommend the home to their friends and family.
I also had to work hard to gain our residents family’s and friend’s trust so that I could turn the home around with new team members and an improved team morale, we needed to make our home feel like home again. It would have been extremely difficult for me and the team to achieve the turnaround that we have without the vital support of the families and friends of our residents.
Tell us three things you need to provide great care?
A positive outlook, compassion and kindness.
How do you relax?
Going to the Lake District and walking. It really helps to clear my head and take in the wonder and beauty of nature!
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