The dementia care manager at Moorlands Lodge, Pamela Norfolk, has always been a vital part of the care home. In the words of some of the people she works with “she faces every situation with a smile and a very maternal approach, and her commitment to the welfare and happiness of everyone on her unit is always paramount.”
Despite being considered a point of reference when it comes to dementia care, Pamela actually started her career on a very different path.
Signature’s finalist for the prestigious Great British Care Awards used to work in a design software company, before being made redundant. While at home she took very good care of her late parents’ elderly friends, and the effortlessness with which she would carry out this duty made her realise that was something she really loved doing. During that time, she also realised she could easily build very strong connections with older people.
Having that in mind, it was an easy choice to jump into the care industry.
The idea was to take full advantage of her previous managerial skills and find a job as a manager within care. However, she was struggling to find her perfect role. A recurring feedback was that experience in such sector is very particular, and she should have worked specifically in care to even be taken into consideration.
At this point, anyone would have been discouraged and would have settled for what they had always been doing. But Pamela knew that was the right career for her and she wouldn’t be so easily defeated.
That’s when she decided to just start from the ground up. In 2010, she took a job as a care assistant and within only one year had already made it to lead care assistant.
She then started working in the sales department, sometimes covering a whopping sixteen homes simultaneously. That was a role she enjoyed very much, for all the contact she could have with the residents. Unfortunately, that contact was also temporary and sometimes quite brief. She felt like she needed more.
During her time in sales, she had learned a great deal about dementia. So much so she felt that became an area of special interest for her. That’s when she accepted a job as a dementia manager in another company. Initially, it seemed like that could be the right place for her to hone her expertise, but she was limited to only dealing with early stage dementia.
Her ambition kicked in again, and that’s how she landed at Moorlands Lodge. This time she really felt like she was in the right place, not only to help as many people as possible as a dementia care manager, but also to advance her knowledge of dementia even further.
On the 11th of November, Pamela will go to a gala dinner in Brighton to represent Signature as one of the candidates for the award of Frontline Leader as a Dementia Care Manager.
Needless to say, whatever the result, Pamela is already a champion in the eyes of everyone she works with and one of Signature’s most valued and esteemed members.