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Selfless carer is shortlisted for an award for keeping residents’ spirits up

Selfless carer is shortlisted for an award for keeping residents’ spirits up

by Danielle Thompson (December 2020)

A SELFLESS Sefton residential home worker has been shortlisted for an award for keeping residents’ spirits up during lockdown.

When activity co-ordinator Dave Valentine’s wedding and honeymoon were cancelled due to the pandemic, he instead spent the weekend supporting residents at Palmyra Care Home on Great Georges Road in Waterloo on their new garden project.

Residents said that Dave, 34, from Crosby, kept them entertained throughout both lockdowns and ongoing tier restrictions. They also appreciated how he helped them to stay in touch with loved ones by teaching them to use technology including electronic tablets and smartphones.

Dave’s wide range of stay-at-home activities have included smoothie making, virtual zoo visits all around the world, video games, DJ-ing and a staff versus residents pool tournament. 

A project to redecorate the home’s activity room with a number of hand-painted murals saw one resident, who had never taken part in any organised activities, painting a colourful tiger on the wall for three days straight. 

As well as their mental health, Dave also considered residents’ physical wellbeing while they remained at home. All ability exercise classes proved popular with both residents and staff. 

For one resident, Danny, the lockdown restrictions proved extremely challenging, as he was used to being out and about for most of the day. Dave set up a Wii console with a number of games, which has proved to be an agreeable outlet for Danny’s energy.

A number of other Palmyra residents have learned new skills this year, thanks to Dave. Eighty-two-year-old Barbara has been using a laptop for the first time and enjoying digital drawing and colouring, while 92-year-old Stan has mastered video-calling his brother.

Dave has also helped out during the pandemic by taking on support worker shifts. This has ensured that there has been a continuity of care at Palmyra and that the home hasn’t needed to rely on agency staff. 

Going above and beyond in every way he could, at the height of lockdown, Dave offered lifts to staff who relied on public transport and went shopping for service users and staff who were shielding.

According to residential manager Stephen Watson, Dave, never lets anything get to him and always has a positive attitude.

Dave added: “I really enjoy spending time one-on-one with residents and finding out what they are interested in. You can make a huge difference in someone’s quality of life once you work out what makes them tick. No two days are the same. When you arrive on shift and the residents are waiting for you with smiles on their faces, you know you’ve done your job.” Dave will find outthis year if he has won a Great British Care Award.

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