Rewarding work with the elderly in local care home

Ashbrooke Care Home

DEDICATED.. Stacey Cunningham at work at Ashbrooke Care Home, Enniskillen

THE work of a carer is an important one – and the role can come in many forms.

 For two carers at Ashbrooke Care Home, the biggest part of their role is their relationship with their residents.


That particular care home has 64-bedroom care home which offers specialist nursing, residential and dementia care.

Stacey Cunningham, from Enniskillen, has worked at Ashbrooke for the last seven years, having previously working in the Millcroft nursing home in Enniskillen.

The senior care assistant spent the first four years working in the general nursing unit, with residents with dementia.

“It was difficult at the beginning,” Stacey told the Fermanagh Herald, “but I enjoyed it. It’s definitely a challenge  but it’s nice to be able to help them live their lives
“I don’t know how you would described it. At first, when you first meet residents, you’re meeting the dementia. If you’re not expecting it, the reactions you could get may be difficult. But slowly, after time goes on you get to know the person. You see past the dementia.”

Stacey added: “You move on with their dementia. There are people here who have been here since I have been here and you get to see them develop.”

Stacey also talked of the last three years which have been spent in the residential unit, where residents are ‘more independent’.

“There’s a big change – you’re the ‘nurse’ to that person. But it can be easier to build a relationship – we chat about our life and they chat about theirs. We get to know their families.”


Getting to know the residents is seen as a huge part of Stacey’s work: “It’s very important, it’s one of the most important parts of my work. You make their life easier – it’s no longer a strange environment for them. It becomes a home.”

And, care assistant Deborah Johnson, who is originally from Wales but lives in Enniskillen, has been working at the care home since December.

“I do personal care with the residents so that means that I’d help them when they want something to eat or drink. I find the work really nice – it’s rewarding.  There can be difficult days but with the staff there and the relationship we’d have together it isn’t a problem.

“I enjoy how you can sit down with the residents and have a chat. You get to know them and their personalities.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA