My name’s Gareth Jenks, I’m Home Manager at Hillside View Care Home in Paisley. I’m registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a mental health nurse.
I didn’t think about this career when I was young, I actually wanted to work with animals. My wife started working in a care home and lead on setting up a specialist dementia care unit. Seeing her make changes to the lives of people living with dementia, in a positive way, made me think: I want to do that. I want to make that change for people as well. So, I moved from wanting to be a vet nurse to becoming a mental health nurse.
A typical day in my role as a care home manager involves making sure care plans for the people that stay here are person centred. They need to be up to date and individualised. Getting to know the residents is a big part of my job as well. I monitor our staff training arrangements, there’s monthly audits including health and safety to keep us all safe.
I qualified as a mental health nurse then gained experience as a staff nurse and have always worked in care homes. I wouldn’t want to want to work anywhere else. Building on my care home foundation I worked my way up to unit manager then deputy manager and now home manager. My knowledge has increased along the way, that’s guided me to where I am now and where I need to be in future.
I like going to the gym and mediation. Meditation’s really good, especially when you’ve had a stressful day.
I thoroughly enjoyed my three year mental health nurse training at university. I’ve just finished a dementia learning programme at the Dementia Skilled level of the Promoting Excellence framework which was fantastic. I’m currently working towards an SVQ in Care Services Leadership and Management at SCQF level 10. You sometimes think you know a lot then you realise from a course there’s a lot to learn still.
Seeing the people who stay here, seeing them growing is what I like most. People who stay here have gone to college and gained a qualification. So the best part of my job is promoting independence and seeing people happy whatever illness they have. Just because you come into a care home it doesn't mean life stops.
I can’t say I like the paperwork, but it comes with the job!My advice would be if you’re thinking about a job in care, do it. Try to be calm and collected, and a smile on your face goes a long way.
The best part of my job is promoting independence and seeing people happy whatever illness they have. Just because you come into a care home it doesn't mean life stops.Gareth Jenks Care home manager