Esther Rantzen honours carer for work with dementia sufferers

Laura Grasby receives her award from Esther Rantzen
Laura Grasby receives her award from Esther Rantzen
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An innovative Clitheroe carer has scooped a prestigious award for her trailblazing work with dementia sufferers.

TV presenter Esther Rantzen – founder of the Silver Line the Lancashire-based befriending helpline for older people – presented Laura Grasby with the accolade at a special ceremony in Preston.

The care industry “gong” was organised by the Lancashire Workforce Development Partnership to recognise pioneering approaches to caring for dementia patients utilising the latest training and development initiatives.

Laura, manager at Abbeyfield House residential care home in Low Moor, received a glass plinth and framed certificate from Esther during the LWDP-organised Celebrating Good Care Conference, held at Barton Grange Hotel, Barton.

Other recipients included care co-ordinator Alison Hargreaves, from domiciliary care agency GS Social Care Solutions, Great Harwood, and Anne Child, registered manager at home care agency Townfield & Coach House, also in Great Harwood.

As part of LWDP’s dementia initiative, carers have been developing techniques including the use of iPads, music and dance, sensory rooms and even taking individuals back to their former places of work, to make life more fun for patients and staff alike.

Esther Rantzen, the former “That’s Life!” star, who set up the confidential national helpline (0800 4708090) last year, said: “It’s very important to celebrate best practice because that way you get the best staff attracted to this crucial work. There’s no question it’s going to make a difference.

“What the award recipients know, and what I know, is that good care which offers people not only safety and security, but also friendship and the chance to have some fun, transforms people’s lives not just for the people in the care homes, but their families too.”

Lancashire County Council-funded LWDP’s dementia initiative introduces care sector managers and their staff to new and innovative approaches to working with Alzheimer’s.

Janet Aspinall, chief executive of LWDP, said: “The awards are a testament to all the incredible hard work and commitment invested by the recipients in creating a significant difference in the quality of life for vulnerable people who need care.”