Caroline Baker has been appointed to the newly created role of head of dementia and care quality at Belong.
Her career spans three decades, during which time she has championed change to traditional approaches to dementia care in developing progressive strategies.
Baker developed dementia care models while working as director of dementia care at Barchester Healthcare and Four Seasons Health Care. Her work has been published in academic papers, and she is the author of Developing Excellent Care for People Living with Dementia in Care Homes.
She holds a postgraduate diploma in geriatric medicine along with a master’s degree (MSc) in management research and was also offered a scholarship award to represent nursing professionals at MGM University in Kerala, where she taught alongside medical consultants about dementia care.
Belong’s village model has been developed to help improve outcomes for people living with dementia, through its approach to building design, living arrangements, services and training. It provides an admiral nurse service to support customers diagnosed with dementia and their families.
‘When I began my career as a registered mental health nurse, working in hospital wards, it was evident that this field of care desperately needed to change. Back then, it wasn’t a good outlook for people living with dementia, so I decided to make it my mission to prove that it’s possible for people to have an active and fulfilling life and continue contributing to society,’ she said.
Her appointment comes ahead of plans to open a care village in Birkdale early in 2024. It also follows the launch of Belong Chester, which opened earlier this year.
Baker will be working as part of Belong’s senior team, responsible for devising strategy across its eight villages and Belong at Home domiciliary care service.
Belong chief executive Martin Rix said: ‘Caroline is a natural fit for Belong and we are delighted to welcome her to the team. Her values, calibre and passion shine through and we believe she will help us remain at the forefront of providing quality services to our customers.’