Zena Aldridge

Dip HE Nursing, MA.

Admiral Nurse Research Fellow, Dementia UK

PhD student De Montfort University

Email: zena.aldridge@dementiauk.org

LinkedIn profile

About Zena

Zena is a passionate mental health nurse who changed career direction in 1996 and spent four years working across health and social care before she began her nursing studies in the year 2000. Zena is committed to ongoing professional development and is currently undertaking PhD studies at De Montfort University.

Zena Aldridge

Relishing the opportunity to do something different she has always held less traditional roles including out of hours dementia worker within social services where she became Norfolk’s first nurse to be an Approved Mental Health Professional and Best Interests Assessor.

In 2013 Zena became the first Admiral Nurse in Norfolk where she developed a tiered service model to support families affected by dementia. Zena led on a service evaluation of this pilot service which alongside the tiered model has enabled further development of Admiral Nurse services countrywide.  Zena became Lead Admiral Nurse Consultant in Norfolk and worked with Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group before joining Dementia UK in 2015, firstly as a Service Evaluator and Senior Consultant Nurse before commencing her current role in May 2018.

Zena is committed to improving dementia care and has a keen interest in palliative and end of life care in dementia care as well as service development, policy and education relating to dementia care.



  1. Harrison Dening, K. Aldridge, Z. (2021) Understanding Behaviours in Dementia Journal of Community Nursing. 35(3) 50-55
  2. Harrison Dening, K. Aldridge, Z. (2021) Enhanced Health in Care Homes for people with dementia: the Admiral Nursing offer, Nursing and Residential Care 23:7. 1-10
  3. Aicken, C.; Hodgson, L.; de Vries, K.; Wilkinson, I.; Aldridge, Z.; Galvin, K. (2021) ‘This Adds Another Perspective’: Qualitative Descriptive Study Evaluating Simulation-Based Training for Health Care Assistants, to Enhance the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, 3995. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18083995.
  4. Aldridge, Z., Harrison Dening, K. (2021) Admiral Nurse Case Management within Enhanced Health in Care Homes. OBM Geriatrics ;5(2):19; doi:10.21926/obm.geriatr.2102167.
  5. Harrison Dening, K., Aldridge, Z. (2021) Dementia: recognition and cognitive testing in primary care settings. Journal of Community Nursing. 35(1):43-49.


  1. Aldridge, Z., Parry-Hughes, M. & Harrison Dening, K. (2020) Difficult conversations: nutritional needs of care home residents with advanced dementia. NRC. 22(9): doi.org/10.12968/nrec.2020.22.9.6
  2. Aldridge, Z. (2020) A time to celebrate the professional care workforce. NRC. 22(9): doi.org/10.12968/nrec.2020.22.9.1
  3. Aldridge, Z., Oliver, E., Gardener, H. & Harrison Dening, K. (2020) Admiral Nursing – A model of specialist dementia care in acute hospitals. SAGE Open Nursing. Vol 6, 1-11. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2377960820952677


  1. Aldridge, Z., Burns, A., Harrison Dening, K. (2019) ABC model: A tiered integrated pathway approach to peri and post diagnostic support for families living with dementia (Innovative Practice) Dementia. doi: 10.1177/1471301219838086 (E-pub ahead of print).
  2. Aldridge, Z (June 2019) Supporting families and carers of people with dementia. Chapter in Evidence-Based Practice in Dementia for Nurses and Nursing Students. Editor Karen Harrison- Dening. Jessica Kingsley UK.

2014 – 2018

  1. Aldridge, Z. (2017) Dementia: Mental health crises and emergency care in Norfolk. Healthwatch Norfolk Using urgent and emergency services at times of mental health crisis -Views and experiences of using urgent and emergency health care services in Norfolk during times of mental health crisis: an independent report for the NHS England East Anglian Urgent and Emergency Care Network pgs. 89-108. Available at: https://www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Final-Report-Experiences-Urgent-Emergency-Service-Use-at-Times-of-Mental-Health-Crisis-UECN-June-2017.pdf
  2. Harrison- Dening, K. Aldridge, Z et al (2017) Admiral Nursing: case management for families affected by dementia Nursing Standard. 31, 24, 42-50.
  3. Aldridge, Z. (2017) Prioritise the safety of people with dementia who go missing: A new protocol is helping to prevent care home residents from going missing and providing information to help search for those that do. Nursing standard: official newspaper of the Royal College of Nursing 31(44):29-29.
  4. Aldridge, Z., Findlay, N (2014) Norfolk Admiral Nurse Pilot Report. Available at
  5. Aldridge, Z and Findlay, N (2015) PO3.74 Norfolk Admiral Nurse Pilot: an evaluation report (Presentation 25th Alzheimer’s Europe Conference Dementia: putting strategies and research into practice (Ljubljana, Slovenia/2-4 September 2015).

Interests and Expertise

  • People with dementia and their carers
  • Frailty and comorbidity in dementia
  • Care homes, acute and community-based services
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Service and policy development


  • Full-time PhD commenced in May 2018 at De Montfort University. Title of study: An exploratory study of the experiences of nursing home staff when making decisions in the event of unexpected deterioration of a resident with advanced dementia, 2018- present
  • Master of Arts in Mental Health. School of Social Work. University of East Anglia, 2013
  • Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing. School of Nursing and Midwifery. University of East Anglia, 2003
  • NMC Registered Mental Health Nurse, 2003-current