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Mary Gilchrist

Team leader

Q: What does your job involve?

A: I’m a team leader at Cramond. I did work on the second floor in the Dementia unit, but now I’m on the ground floor, which is residential care. An average day is looking after the welfare of the residents, checking their care plans and updating them, doing risk assessments, give medications, general personal care, assisting with meals, things like that. It’s really looking after all aspects of residents’ lives.

Q: What makes Cramond special?

A: We really care at Cramond. We put in a lot of time and effort getting to know the residents, their personality, how they like things. And obviously these are different with every resident because every resident’s different. This is the thing that allows us to get the care we provide right.

Q: What motivates you?

A: I love my job. It can be challenging, it has its moments, but we’re well supported and it is tremendously rewarding. Let me give you an example: One of our residents got a piano for Christmas from her daughter. Now the resident is a really good pianist, so we all went into the games room to hear her play. Her daughter was taking a video and the moment was so special that her daughter became really emotional. Now I wouldn’t say I’m tough, but I don’t generally let my feelings show. But on that occasion, I actually cried and had to leave the room because it was just so lovely.

Q: Tell me about your team?

A: Our team is very close knit, which is vital as you have to be able to work together well to provide good care. We support each other as a team and get on well. As we’re working with each other for 12 hours, it’s important that we keep our sense of humour and keep each other’s spirits up. This is especially important when we are providing palliative care, which can be quite upsetting. So we have to be able to be there for each other.

Q: Where were you before Cramond?

A: I’ve been in care for over 20 years. I started in mental health, which involved supporting people coming out into the community from the Royal Edinburgh. I then worked in supported living, looking after people with autism, bipolar and schizophrenia, just a whole mix of everything. I’ve worked here at Cramond for two years – I always wanted to experience a care home and I love it. It’s very different from care in the community – much more like being part of a family.

Q: What do you do outside of work?

A: I generally meet up with friends for lunch dates. I like movies and doing scrapbooks of family memories and things like that.

Q: Would you recommend Cramond Residence?

A: I would say yes, I would highly recommend it because all residents get first class care and access to nurses, doctors, podiatrists – everything that need to be well taken care of.