A TEENAGER in Middlesbrough decided to launch a career caring for the elderly after seeing the decline of her grandma’s dementia.
Bethany Brooks, 18, was just a child when her grandmother was diagnosed with the degenerative disease.
After she was admitted to a care home, Beth visited regularly and took a keen interest in how the staff cared for her.
Despite the difficulties faced during this period, Beth was inspired to pursue her own career in elderly care as soon as she finished her GCSEs.
At 17, she began studying for a Level 2 qualification in Adult Social Care with Shape Training.
Beth subsequently started her first work placement at The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, Middlesbrough, where she observed how carers looked after residents.
When she turned 18, she was able to start working alongside the carers and begin hands-on training.
The staff at The Gables Care Home were so impressed with Beth they offered her a job as care assistant and part-time activities coordinator. She is also now studying for a Level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care.
She said: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but I had been taking care of my grandma, who had dementia, not realising that you could make a career out of it.
“Watching grandma live with dementia was really hard and I realised I wanted to help other people who were living with the disease.
“I knew I’d need a proper qualification and a friend who was studying with Shape Training suggested I get in touch with them to study Adult Social Care Level 2.
“Landing the job at The Gables was brilliant. I love working with the residents. They are all very special people and it’s a privilege to look after them.
“I was quite timid at first, especially with the residents whose dementia was quite advanced, but the staff here were very supportive and helped to give me the skills I needed. I feel confident working with people who have dementia now.”
Pam Rodgers, home manager at The Gables Care Home, said: “We are always on the lookout for the best, most dedicated staff members and Beth has proven herself.
“She has been made the home’s “Positivity Champion” because of her friendly, approachable manner and always having a smile on her face.
“We’re absolutely delighted she decided to become a full-time member of the team and, once she has her Level 3 qualification, she will be able to apply for senior positions.”
Donna Johnson, recruitment and marketing manager at Shape Training, said: “Beth has a great attitude and a level of understanding of elderly care due to family circumstances. She has a passion for elderly care and wants to make a difference.
“Myself and my colleagues have care setting backgrounds and I always ask myself would I have employed this person and it was a resounding yes in Beth’s case.”