Skip to main content
Gareth Jenks (image)

30 May 2023

Careers in care Dementia

Dementia Awareness Week 2023: Gareth's story

This Dementia Awareness Week we’re sharing a story from Gareth Jenks who is a Dementia Ambassador. Gareth works as a Home Manager at Hillside View Care Home in Paisley and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a mental health nurse.

Why did you choose a career in care?

I didn’t think about this career when I was young, I actually wanted to work with animals. My wife started working in a care home and lead on setting up a specialist dementia care unit. Seeing her make changes to the lives of people living with dementia, in a positive way, made me think – I want to do that. I want to make that change for people as well. So, I moved from wanting to be a veterinary nurse to becoming a mental health nurse.

What's a typical day like?

A typical day in my role as home manager involves making sure care plans for the people that stay here are person centred. They need to be up to date and individualised. Getting to know the residents is a big part of my job as well. I also monitor our staff training arrangements, there’s monthly audits including health and safety to keep us all safe.

I like going to the gym and mediation. Meditation is really good, especially when you’ve had a stressful day,

What qualifications and experience do you have?

I qualified as a mental health nurse then gained experience as a staff nurse and have always worked in care homes. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. Building on my care home foundation I worked my way up to Unit Manager then Deputy Manager and now Home Manager. My knowledge has increased along the way, that’s guided me to where I am now and where I need to be in future.

I thoroughly enjoyed my three-year mental health nurse training at university. I’ve just finished a dementia learning programme at the Dementia Skilled level of the Promoting Excellence framework which was fantastic. I’m currently working towards an SVQ level 4 in Care Services Leadership and Management.

'You sometimes think you know a lot then you realise from a course there’s a lot to learn still.'

What do you like most about your job?

Seeing the people who stay here, seeing them growing is what I like most. People who stay here have gone to college and gained a qualification. So the best part of my job is promoting independence and seeing people happy, whatever illness they have. Just because you come into a care home it doesn't mean life stops.

I can’t say I like the paperwork, but it comes with the job!

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in care?

My advice would be if you’re thinking about a job in care, do it. Try to be calm and collected and a smile on your face goes a long way. 

Find out more about Dementia Ambassadors

If you would like to learn about our Dementia Ambassadors network and access the dementia learning resources available, please visit our Dementia Ambassadors web page or email us at

Contact information

Alison Forbes
Communications Assistant
Scottish Social Services Council