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Q&A with Mary Carter from B&M Care Group

vca kindly thanks Mary Carter from B&M Care Group for answering these questions.


1. How long have you worked in the Care Sector, and what is your current role?


I have worked in the care industry since I was in my early thirties.  I went to work at  Tremona Residential Care home in 1985 as Assistant Manager and then took on the role of manager in 1986 and there I stayed until 2000.  I then transferred to B&M Care’s Head Office in Hemel Hemsptead as Purchasing Manager.

I have responsibility for all purchasing from cleaning material to furniture.  I am responsible for sourcing, buying and managing all client relationships with all B&M Care suppliers. I am involved with all new developments from their conception to their day to day running.


2. You’ve ordered several bespoke signs, which is your favourite?

I have ordered many from you now and I am really pleased with the way you interpret my ideas and incorporate them into the signage.  My favourite signage are: Patio GardenWardrobe (this has assisted many residents who have issued identifying which door is the toilet and which is the wardrobe and has been very well received).  The Windsor Lounge was a superb interpretation as was the Wysteria Lounge.  The design is also very pleasing to the eye. It is not intrusive or patronising.


3. Why is it important to use images when trying to communicate with people living with dementia?

Words are not always understood.  Evidence shows that communicating with images is less worrying for the client and pictures can sometimes explain the message and story better. It is also very important for visitors and relatives when selling our home, because it is a talking point and a good sales pitch – we know what we are talking about.


4. You have provided ideas for new vca products, could you tell us about them and how you use the products in your care home.


Jigsaw, male or female – these have been well received by our activity facilitators who are using the jigsaws to draw out the less forthcoming residents, who prefer not to join in with group activities.  It is a good one-to-one.

Clock – again good visual aid to the time of the day rather than just the ‘time’.

Money – this has gone down a storm.  Both paper and coins are being used by residents who still want to remain independent with their own finances.  They pay the hairdresser etc and then they return the money. They feel in control.