Meet Yvonne Manson

Balhousie Care Group Dementia Development Lead

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This week is Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland and we wanted to introduce you to Yvonne Manson, who recently joined us as Balhousie Care Group’s Dementia Development Lead.

Dementia care is a fundamental part of the care we provide at Balhousie Care Group, with around 800 residents across our Homes living with dementia or cognitive decline. That’s why it’s important for us to have somebody who is dedicated to supporting and developing the dementia care we offer across all of our homes, that’s where Yvonne comes in…

Yvonne joined us in February, bringing with her a wealth of experience and a passion to educate others in providing the best care for residents. It only took one shift in a Care Home aged just 19 for Yvonne to know that Dementia Care was the core of what she wanted to do with her future.

Experience in dementia care

Yvonne then went on to gain her BSc in Mental Health Nursing. She developed her career and experience within in care homes across fife and worked her way up to manage a specialist care unit. She was also involved in managing the setup of a Care at Home service and healthcare agency. As rewarding as this was, it lacked utilising her expertise and experience in Dementia Care. Having received her MSc In Dementia Studies with Merit in January 2016, she joined Balhousie in February as our Dementia Development Lead, a job she describes as her perfect fit.

In the three short months since Yvonne joined us, the impact she has made has been both clear to see and promising for the future. One of her first projects has been to develop the role of Dementia Ambassadors in each of our 25 Care Homes.  Each Home now has between 2-6 ambassadors, each identified as somebody who holds the key to developing awareness, understanding and an education of Dementia within their Home. After the first Ambassadors meeting in April, Yvonne has been blown away by the response from the Ambassadors, who range from admin staff, activity coordinators, senior carers, nurses and deputy managers, who showed such enthusiasm and motivation to work together to develop and implement the Dementia Strategy Yvonne has been developing. 

Balhousie's dementia stretegy

Which brings us on to Yvonne’s Dementia Strategy! The strategy is currently being developed by Yvonne, as well as involving residents, families, staff and visiting professionals. It is in the consultation phase, and is being sent out to residents, families, staff, professionals and stakeholdes right now. Involving others in the development of this strategy is a key part to the strategy and links in with our Together We’re Great initiative. We’ll tell you more about our strategy soon.

For Yvonne, it’s all about workforce development and working together to create exceptional Dementia care. This starts with basic awareness of Dementia, which all Balhousie employees will receive, and encourages all staff to develop that awareness. Simple things such as the language used when discussing dementia can be empowering to get right, that’s why we’re creating out dementia language sheet. It’s is all about being person-centered and developing that level of understanding to provide the best care for each individual.

Together we're Great - personalisation

Our staff are the foundation of great care and, with Yvonne’s help and expertise, we can build outstanding dementia care within all of our homes. You’ll be hearing more from Yvonne over the coming months, as she shares her plans and advice and as we develop our Together We’re Great initiative you’ve heard so much about.