Many years ago the family of Joseph Levy expressed their concern at the lack of support for families caring for somebody with dementia. Joseph contracted dementia and following his death the family launched a national charity with the aim of developing nurses who were employed to support families from diagnosis to “whenever they were needed”. Joseph Levy was known as “Admiral Joe” and today there are 102 Admiral Nurses across the country supported by Dementia UK.
YPWD (Berkshire) was launched to address the gaps in service provision for younger people with dementia. Feedback clearly showed that carers were part of this gap in service provision; they wanted more support to come to terms with diagnosis, to manage the care of the person with dementia and in most cases find ways of coping and working with the person with dementia to maintain some quality of life.
The Admiral Nurse will provide a robust nursing assessment and work to address the needs of the carer; this can be through providing emotional and/or practical support. Intervention can be for 3 visits or many years; this is dependent on the individual. The Admiral Nurse will work with other members of the YPWD team, for example day respite or dementia support, as well as the local mental health and social care teams. The Admiral Nurse can also provide advice and consultancy to fellow professionals and carers, and will be part of the education programmes for young carers being developed across Berkshire.
Currently most referrals are generated by the Memory Clinics and the Community Mental Health teams across the three localities; however referrals can come from any source including carers themselves.. If you would like further information regarding this, please contact the Admiral Nurses direct (details below).
If you are a carer for someone who has a diagnosis of young onset dementia and are reading this and feel that this support might be valuable, talk to your care co-ordinator. If not diagnosed and you suspect that there may be a problem, ask your GP for a memory assessment.
My name is Lizzie Harrison and I am the Admiral Nurse working with YPWD (Berkshire) in Berkshire West (Reading, Wokingham and west Berkshire). This post was the first Admiral Nurse in Berkshire as well as the only Admiral Nurse offering a specialist service to younger people with dementia in the country when it commenced in 2013. After the successful build up of the Admiral Nurse service from scratch, with the support of the YPWD team and Dementia UK, I very much hope to complement and continue to develop the service to support the often complex needs of families and loved ones living with young onset dementia.
You can contact Lizzie (pictured left) by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0118 949 5101.
After securing funding from Berkshire Carers Service, we are able to run a pilot scheme to introduce an Admiral Nurse within East Berkshire (Bracknell, Slough and Windsor & Maindenhead). This Admiral Nurse will be provided by SweetTree Home Care Services, working with Dementia UK, and Rikki Lorenti (pictured left) will be undertaking this role. The pilot will commence on Monday 13th February 2017 and Rikki will be working one day per week (Monday) on a clinic based system out of Slough Memory Clinic. Rikki has over 30 years' experience in mental health care and has worked extensively with both elderly and early-onset dementia clients. As well as leading community mental health teams and in-patient wards, he has also managed independent nursing homes in Yorkshire and Oxfordshire. “As a family, you can get past the fear,” Rikki says of a dementia diagnosis. “Dementia is no reason to shrink; no reason to disappear. It is possible to live well with dementia, and it is possible for your family to live well too.”
You can contact Rikki by e-mail: email@example.com or telephone on 020 7624 9944
You can contact Admiral Nurse Direct on 0845 2579406 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.