Ashridge Court Care Centre

News


Introducing Gemma – our Head of Activities

We are delighted to introduce Gemma Carey, our new Head of Activities who joins Carol and Chloe in our busy activities team.

Gemma, who has lived in Bexhill-on-Sea all her life, is an experienced carer/activities co-ordinator. After leaving school and training for a year as a hairdresser, she spent ten years as a care assistant in a local dementia home, and a further five as a senior support worker on a women’s challenging behaviour ward at the nearby Langford Centre. It was a stressful role that involved managing a team of 14, but she loved it.

“It was a calm and happy atmosphere with a better work-life balance than my previous role at the dementia home. In those days I had to combine working with looking after my grandad, who had dementia, and caring for my daughter, Roya,” she recalls.

Part of Gemma’s role was to organise activities for the ward, and she soon decided that she wanted to concentrate more on this area. She is a firm believer in tapping into what people want to do and what they feel is meaningful for them. “If you organise the right activities, residents will engage,” she says.

Before Gemma’s arrival, Chloe and Carol were extremely busy juggling the activities part of their role with helping residents to keep in contact with their relatives. With Gemma on board the team has much more time to organise and host activities, especially now that the home is now welcoming outside entertainers at long last!

At Ashridge, all residents – including those with dementia or who are bed-restricted, can take part in a wide variety of activities such as ball games, singing, word games, picture making and lots and lots of creative tasks. The team organised residents to make and decorate salt dough hearts for Valentine’s Day, Chinese lanterns for Chinese New Year, pizzas for Pizza Day and chicks and rabbits for Easter! They also celebrated VE Day, Father’s Day and National Chocolate Day in style!

“The residents enjoy making things such as pompoms. They are really enthusiastic and are happy to make them in their own rooms, and at evenings and weekends, if I leave the materials with them,” says Gemma.

Away from work Gemma is a proud mum to 25-year-old Roya, a hospital administrator, and a proud grandma of two. She also looks after her grandmother and has got her hands full with Max, a young Dutch herder/Rottweiler cross with huge paws who loves long walks!

Her other love is travel – she has been to the United States 12 times – but has recently discovered the beauty of Cornwall, and can’t wait to get back there.