It is often said that kindness is its own reward, but Margaret McPherson, a Stonehaven care home housekeeper, now knows better. She has just received a national award, in recognition of her determined commitment to enhancing the quality of life for care home residents, through her thoughtfulness, kindness and compassion.
Margaret works for Care UK at Mowat Court in Stonehaven. Care UK provides care for older people, those with mental health conditions and people with learning disabilities, in both residential and community based settings and is one of the country’s leading independent providers of health and social care services, with one in four people living in the UK supported by one of their services.
Home manager of the Aberdeenshire facility, Kirsten Bell, was delighted to nominate Margaret for the award of ‘Housekeeper of the Year’.
She said: “Margaret is an invaluable part of the team at Mowat Court. She radiates kindness and compassion and enriches the lives of everyone she meets.”
Kirsten went on to say that Margaret, who is herself aged 74, gives up many hours of her free time to take part in activities and also accompany the residents on outings.
She explained: “When carrying out her duties, Margaret will involve any residents who would like to help and this supports their sense of well-being as they feel engaged and useful.”
For example, as a trusted technique, one of the ways in which people with dementia can be helped to engage with those around them is through the use of ‘memory boxes’. These boxes contain pictures, books, material, posters and all kinds of memorabilia, all of which relate to each individual and their particular interests. Margaret has helped to fill boxes for residents in the home’s dementia unit, searching for items which are especially meaningful for each person.
The Housekeeper of the Year award is given to someone who not only offers an excellent service to residents but who can also demonstrate that they make a real difference to helping residents lead fulfilling lives.
Judging the awards, which cover all of Care UK’s 113 residential homes, director of quality and governance Caroline Roberts gave a glowing tribute to the work Margaret carries out.
She said: “Margaret is an asset to Mowat Court. Her passion and positivity really shine through and she is always willing to go the extra mile to help the residents with activities and outings.”
Caroline then paid the Mowat Court housekeeper the ultimate compliment, saying: “Every home should have a Margaret!”
The last word really should go to the award-winner herself and Margaret, who received her award at the Residential Care Services dinner on Thursday, November 20, said: “I am so delighted to be given this award.”
With typical modesty, she added: “I love my work at Mowat Court and really enjoy getting to know all our residents and helping them to feel really at home here.”