Dementia nurses provide a lifeline for carers
Although specialist Admiral nurses can prevent hospital admissions and save money, there are only 200 in the UK and many counties have none at all.
Kate and Jon Henderson have devoted the past decade to looking after their 67 year old mother, Sally, who has dementia. At first the siblings, who, until this February shared their bungalow in Rottingdean, near Brighton with her, were able to cope. But as Sally’s condition worsened, she began to lose her balance and had to use a wheelchair. Her speech deteriorated so much that Jon and Kate had to anticipate her needs by reading her body language. They installed a wet room, a disabled access door and a hospital bed with rails.
Last year, constant urinary tract infections made Sally more confused and a bad cold led to acute illness because she could not clear her throat. Kate was so worried she began sleeping on an air bed in her mum’s room.
So when Lucy Frost, dementia lead at Sussex community NHS trust, referred them to a specialist dementia nurse in 2016, they leapt at the chance. Admiral nurses, trained and supported by the charity Dementia UK, focus on the family carers of those with the condition.
The Hendersons’ Admiral nurse, Helen McBryer, helped them secure state funding [continuing healthcare] so their mum could stay at home, as well as providing much needed emotional and practical support. And when they decided it would be best for Sally to move into a nursing home, McBryer helped them find one. For further details The Guardian