Friendship Care and Housing: “Quality Is Never An Accident”

Victorian poet John Ruskin once wrote: “Quality is never an accident; it is the result of intelligent effort. It is the will to produce a superior thing.” Thought provoking words, and
ones that have inspired Valerie Paragon, the Registered Care Manager at a residential care home in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.


Valerie and her team not only provide long term care for the residents, they ensure a quality of life combined with dignity and respect that lasts right through to their final days. The care home
is the result of many years experience in looking after members of the African Caribbean culture and based on meeting the specific needs and expectations of each individual resident.

Although most residents are entering the later stages of their life, Valerie is proud of how she and her team have helped many to overcome fears or realise lifelong dreams. “There have been
some priceless achievements,” she said. “We helped to reunite one resident with his family after a break of 45 years, encouraged one 79 year-old lady who suffered from chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease to take up swimming and gave courage to one resident who had not been outdoors for three years and now loves to sit in the garden. Currently we are in the process of
asking the Jamaican Embassy to give permission for a resident’s great-granddaughter to come and see her.
“One care worker really went that extra mile for a gentleman who was spending his 90th birthday in hospital due to his life limiting illness. She not only visited him but also decorated the
ward to make the day special.”

End of life care is made a positive experience, meeting the resident’s last wishes and working with family and friends to carry them out. Valerie is dedicated to ensuring her team are
confident in providing final care, striving to achieve a greater understanding and knowledge needed to make the residents’ last days comfortable and stress-free.

Managed and owned by Friendship Care and Housing, the care home provides 20 self-contained apartments – five of which are suitable for wheelchair users or couples who wish to live together –
plus communal areas and a specialist respite suite.

Sensitive to the African Caribbean culture, the Balsall Heath home is no ordinary care home and the quality of care is certainly no accident.