A care practitioner who is in line for a prestigious award has been hailed as role model by colleagues and relatives of service users under her care.
Sara Wells, from Gabalfa, has been shortlisted for one of this year’s Wales Care Awards because of her willingness to “go one step further” in helping the elderly women she visits regularly.
Most of the women suffer from dementia and Sara, 47, was nominated in the category in the category for Excellence in Dementia Care.
The awards are organized by Care Forum Wales to recognize exceptional work in the care sector, and the presentation ceremony will be held at City Hall, Cardiff, on November 19. It will be hosted by singer and presenter Wynne Evans, popularly known as Gio Compario from the Go Compare TV advert.
Sara, a single mum, began work in a solicitor’s office but became a carer in 1999, and in 2004 joined the Cardiff-based Procare Nursing Agency.
“I found the office job rather cold and clinical,” she said.
For a number of years she worked one-to-one with a woman with Downs Syndrome and learning difficulties, but moved into the community a couple of years ago.
She took to it immediately, and her aptitude and work ethic has impressed her colleagues in Procare.
She was nominated for the award by the company’s registered manager Maxine Ah-mun, who said: “Once she has been to a call that person always wants her back on a regular basis.
“She will communicate with basic language and not use jargon, and she has patience and total understanding of the persons’ needs. She promotes inclusion and equality, as well as treating her citizens with dignity and respect.”
Among the women under her care is 99-year-old Lilian Morgan from Whitchurch, who suffers from dementia. Her daughter, Gillian Coles, is among relatives who think highly of Sara.
“She has a very gentle, caring nature and always puts my mother at ease,” she said. “She always goes that one step further and we feel very lucky to have her as a carer.”
Sara feels equally warmly about the women she calls “my ladies” whom she visits.
“I feel they give me as much as I give them and I love the work. Sometimes all you need to do is sit down and listen to them, but that is important and I am grateful to them for making my job easier,” she said.
She also appreciates the support she receives from the office staff and from her elderly mother Beverley Wells who encourages her in her work and helped her with childminding to enable her to do the job.
When she is not buzzing around to see “her ladies”, Sara enjoys attending yoga classes and is a member of Llandaff Art Group, though she does not attend as often as she would like.
Mario Kreft MBE, the Chair of Care Forum Wales, said the Wales Care Awards had gone from strength to strength.
He said: “The event is now firmly established as one of the highlights in the Welsh social care calendar.
“The aim is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce – they deserve to be lauded and applauded.
“It is a pleasure to honour the contribution of all the finalists. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their achievement.”