Lisa Kelynack is determined to look after her mum Doreen, who has dementia, at home for as long as possible. Admiral Nurse Jayne Loader is helping make that happen.
Lisa says: “Mum was diagnosed with dementia eight years ago. Although her behaviour had changed due to depression, I was so shocked by the diagnosis.
My dad passed away six months after that and I have been Mum’s carer ever since. I just couldn’t have done it without Jayne’s support.
Because of my caring role I have anxiety and depression. I couldn’t see the changes in myself, but Jayne did. She got me to go to my GP for help.
Jayne’s helped with Mum’s problems too. She recently had a fall, and I was worried she was going to end up in a home.
But Jayne sorted everything out, organising extra carers at home. Mum also went through an awful stage of wanting to be in the toilet all the time. I was frightened she was going to hurt herself. Jayne arranged for a doctor to come out. I want to look after Mum at home as long as possible. Jayne’s support is like a pair of arms around you, making you feel you’re not alone. If I didn’t have her, there’s no way I would still be caring.”
Jayne says: “As an Admiral Nurse, there’s no typical day. I’m based in a hospital, so support people there and also in the community. Today I’m meeting with a lady whose husband has dementia. She needs some respite care, so I’ve arranged that for her. Then I’m running a support group for carers whose loved ones are newly-diagnosed.
People often tell me that I’m their lifeline. They know I’m always at the end of the phone. I provide consistency that people can’t get elsewhere.
I find it satisfying to be able to support people in a person-centred way. It’s great to really get to know people, build relationships up, and work out strategies to make their lives better. Admiral Nurses have the time and skills to do that. What I do prevents hospital admissions and delays admissions to care homes.
Dementia UK has been a great support. The monthly practice development days are second to none, and allow me to provide the best support for families like Lisa’s.”