A CARE leader was praised for his dedication and passion in going the extra mile to improve his education and training, which will transform care for residents, especially those with dementia, and their families.
Ross Bijak, Manager of Clinical Care at the Cramond Residence, obtained a Masters in Dementia Studies and now offers a portfolio of courses and training techniques to other staff, residents and family members at the House.
The recent University of Stirling graduate described how the course gave him a deeper understanding of dementia and new ways of thinking that will benefit people living with the disease.
Along with his studies, Ross decided to juggle a 40-hour work week and his personal life, while also experiencing a pandemic.
After starting as a nurse at the Cramond Residence in 2018, Ross was promoted to Manager of Clinical Care in December 2019, but continues to maintain an active involvement in the day-to-day care and support of residents.
The 38 year old man from Fife said: “I am not going to lie, I am delighted to have finally graduated and I am extremely proud to be able to use my new knowledge for something that I have a strong passion for. – which is my job.
“This course has been an invaluable and eye-opening experience that will benefit not only me, but the wider community at home as well.
“Our primary goal at Residence Cramond is to change perceptions of dementia and ensure that all of our residents live happy, independent and fulfilling lives through a multitude of bespoke activities organized by our Lifestyle Coordinators. .
“We also facilitate dementia support programs and seek to train all staff in dementia care – even those who do not provide direct care – as well as provide support and coping skills to help family and friends.
“The more we can help understand dementia, how to interact and meet the changing needs of people living with the disease, the faster it will become more manageable and less of a taboo subject.”
Ross emphasized how important it is to create a collaborative environment at home, as the needs and wants of residents are at the heart of everything they do.
He added, “I have been working in residential care since 2006, and I have never experienced such a cutting-edge and adaptable environment as the Cramond Residence.
“It’s great to see my suggestions implemented in real time and that my passion for caring can help structure the process at home.
“I have always wanted to learn, especially in a field that interests me. I’m always looking to see how I can help improve the lives of our residents, so who knows where my studies will take me Next! “
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology in 2004, Ross discovered that his passion was caring for others and returned to college to study a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Edinburgh Napier in 2012. Ross has now accumulated more 15 years of experience in the sector.
The purpose-built 74-room Cramond Residence offers individualized care to each resident and has a unique dementia strategy that is reviewed annually.
Residents benefit from a variety of tailor-made therapy sessions with caregivers encouraged to participate in NHS-approved excellence training, moderated by Ross, which explains how to optimize interactions with residents living with dementia.
The Cramond Residence employs a concept of small group living in nine homes, with all residents benefiting from an exceptional range of amenities and activities, delicious cuisine and bespoke treatments from a highly skilled team.