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 (pictured left) 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 by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 0118 949 5101.
My name is Caroline Bridger (pictured left) and I have recently taken on the role of Admiral Nurse for East Berkshire. I am working closely with YPWD, and like my colleague Lizzie Harrison in West Berkshire, I offer practical and emotional support to carers of younger people with a diagnosis of dementia.
My background is mostly within Community services and have worked as a Community Matron, Community Practice Teacher and in an In-Reach Team as a dementia specialist nurse. I hope my lengthy and varied experience within the NHS will enable me to support those carers within East Berks and continue to help develop the existing services for those caring for younger people living with dementia.
You can contact Caroline by emailing email@example.com or telephone 07810 050 233
You can contact Admiral Nurse Direct on 0845 2579406 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.