A CARE manager has been praised for his dedication and passion in going the extra mile to improve his education and training, which will transform care for residents, in particular those with dementia, and their families.
Ross Bijak, Clinical Care Manager at Cramond Residence has completed a Master’s Degree in Dementia Studies and is now delivering a portfolio of training courses and techniques to other staff, residents and family members at the home.
The recent graduate from Stirling University has described how the course has given him a more in-depth understanding of dementia and new ways of thinking which will benefit those living with the condition.
Alongside studying, Ross has taken it in his stride to juggle a 40+ hour working week and personal life – all while living through a pandemic.
After starting out as a staff nurse at Cramond Residence in 2018, Ross was promoted to clinical care manager in December 2019, but continues to maintain an active involvement in the day-to-day care and support of residents.
The 38-year-old from Fife said: “I’m not going to lie, I’m delighted to be finally graduating and feel immensely proud to be able to use my new knowledge towards something I have a strong passion for – which is my job.
“This course has been an invaluable, eye-opening experience that will not only benefit me but also the wider community at the home.
“Our main focus at Cramond Residence is to change perceptions of dementia and ensure all of our residents live happy, independent and fulfilling lives through a host of tailored activities put on by our lifestyle co-ordinators.
“We also facilitate dementia support programmes and look to train all members of staff in dementia care– even those who may not be providing direct care – as well as offering support and coping techniques to help family and friends.
“The more people we’re able to help understand dementia, and how to interact and respond to changing needs of those living with the condition, the quicker it’ll become more manageable and less of a taboo subject.”
Ross highlighted how important it is to create a collaborative environment in the home as residents needs and wants sit at the heart of everything they do.
He added: “I’ve worked in residential care since 2006, and have never experienced such a forward thinking and adaptable environment such as Cramond Residence.
“It’s great to see my suggestions being implemented in real time and that my passion for care can help structure the process at the home.
“I’ve always had a desire for learning, especially when it is in an area I have an interest in. I’m always looking to see how I can help make our residents lives better, so who knows where my studies will take me next!”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology in 2004, Ross discovered his passion was caring for others and went back to university to study a Bachelor of Nursing at Edinburgh Napier in 2012. Ross has now accumulated more than 15 years of experience in the sector.
The purpose-built, 74-bedroom Cramond Residence, offers individualised care for each resident and has a unique dementia strategy which is revised every year.
Residents benefit from a variety of tailored therapy sessions with care staff encouraged to partake in NHS approved excellence training, facilitated by Ross, which covers how to optimise interactions with residents living with dementia.
Cramond Residence utilises a small-group living concept in nine houses, with all residents enjoying an exceptional range of amenities and activities, delicious food and bespoke care from a highly-trained team.