Why is celebrating women in care instrumental to care home success?


In the UK, women make up almost 82% of the adult social care workforce. At ACI Care, we believe our dedicated female team members are an asset to our company. To show our gratitude, we’re paying homage to our inspirational activities coordinator, Shelagh Hazleton.


Read on to learn about Shelagh and her career in healthcare:


Celebrating Women: Introducing Shelagh

Shelagh Hazleton started working at our Mountside Care Home in 1992.


She began her journey in the healthcare sector by assisting residents with their hair, before later opting to volunteer with afternoon activities. Seeing her patience, kindness and empathy with the residents during her voluntary work, we offered Shelagh a full-time position as activities coordinator.


Faced with childcare struggles whilst caring for her newborn daughter, Louise, Shelagh initially turned down the offer. In response, we offered Shelagh the option to bring Louise to work with her, so she could continue her duties whilst keeping an eye on her daughter. 


Shelagh accepted — and has since spent 3 decades providing exceptional care to our residents!


Celebrating Women: Shelagh’s Role

At ACI Care, we’re dedicated to celebrating women in care — not just for International Women’s Day, but every day.


Women are the foundation of our care home operations, with Shelagh being an integral part of our Mountside team. Working as our home’s activities coordinator, Shelagh’s predominant aim is to ensure each resident is happy, engaged, and fulfilled.


She achieves this by leading various activities throughout the week, trying to make each day different and engaging. Some of the most popular resident activities include board games, card games, magnetic darts and bingo on a Friday. 


Striving to offer person-centred care, Shelagh acknowledges that some individuals are more introverted. For those who don’t wish to leave their rooms, Shelagh sits with them one-to-one and encourages them to play cribbage and cards, or just engages in conversation.


Celebrating Women: Shelagh’s Mountside Highlights

Working at a care home has an array of different benefits.


These include guaranteed and flexible hours, excellent broader benefits packages and the opportunity to make lifelong, impactful relationships.


Discussing her personal highlights whilst working at Mountside, Shelagh said: “I have too many! We used to do a summer fayre, which was always great. I also used to do a BBQ with a cake stall and a tombola, with some help from residents’ families. 


“Christmas parties have always been lovely, too. Last year, we did a pantomime, which was really funny. Another highlight is the Elvis tribute act that we’ve always had for 10 years or more.”


Recalling her fondest memory, Shelagh added: “We had one lady who thought our Elvis performer was the real Elvis. Her heart would melt the minute he came in and her family always paid for him to come and sing for us all. Even when her dementia got quite bad she could always recognise Elvis, and it was lovely to see!”


Shelagh’s Closing Comments

Social care roles provide you with experiences that no other sector can offer.


After working in the industry for 30 decades, we asked Shelagh what it means to work in a social care setting. She said: “It means a lot to me, and I feel very lucky. I love my job every single day — it really is very special to me.


“When I was in hospital, the girls said ‘stop worrying’, but I wanted to keep ringing the home to let them know where the bingo and chocolates were! The residents are on your mind all the time. It must be hard for them when people are away, you just want to make it feel as much like home as you possibly can.”


Finally, Shelagh had some advice for those considering a career in care: “It’s amazing. It’s hard work but very rewarding, and I believe the rewards you get from it far outweigh the hard work.” 


March is a month dedicated to celebrating women across all sectors. At our Mountside Care Home, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of our wonderful female workers, who consistently go above and beyond in caring for our residents.


If you’re interested in finding out more about the care we provide at ACI Mountside, please contact a member of our team.

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