The opening of a new unit to look after people with dementia and other mental health problems was a poignant occasion for social care pioneer Mario Kreft.
It took place 26 years to the day that his beloved grandmother, Mrs Rene Warburton, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, passed away in a care home.
According to Mr Kreft, it was the need to find suitable care for his grandmother that inspired him to establish the award-winning Pendine Park care organistion.
The new Plas Gwyn dementia unit at Pendine Park’s Hillbury House, in Hillbury Road, was officially opened by the Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Ian Roberts, accompanied by the Mayoress, his wife, Hilary.
Cllr Roberts said: “I was very pleased to be invited to officially open Plas Gwyn.
“I have been to Hillbury on numerous occasions. It feels like home and I’m sure it feels like home to the people who live here now. The staff are extremely pleasant and there is a lovely atmosphere.
“The standards in the new unit are excellent and I’m sure the care that they provide here is second to none.
“There are a lot of people living a lot longer and obviously dementia comes on which means that more and more care is need whether that is in the community or in a residential setting.”
Last year the First Minister Carwyn Jones officially opened Bodlondeb, Pendine Park’s new centre of excellence for people with dementia at their site in Summerhill Road. Bodlondeb was named after Mr Kreft’s grandparents’ home in Rhyl.
According to Mario Kreft, who was awarded an MBE for his contribution to social care, the opening of Plas Gwyn was also a special day.
He said: “It’s remarkable that we should be opening an EMI residential unit 26 years to the day that I lost my grandmother in an EMI residential unit. It is quite poignant really.
“It’s nearly 30 years ago since we’ve as a family found that we really did need to look for more support than we were able to given and I continue to be inspired by my grandmother.
“We really want to provide the best services that we can. It’s something that you have to keep working at, trying to improve all the time.
“It’s all about supporting people, caring for people, working with people – it is very rewarding in terms of job satisfaction but equally it is very challenging.”
“The EMI residential unit is about responding to the needs of the community.
“It’s a very sad fact that there’s a growing issue in relation to dementia which means there are more and more people who need support.
“They certainly all don’t need to be in care homes but for some of those people probably the most appropriate support is with 24 hour supervision, and really unless you’re very wealthy that really can only be provided in a registered care home.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved here at Plas Gwyn. We have got a great team of people here.”