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.
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.
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
Aldridge, Z. (2020) A time to celebrate the professional care workforce. NRC. 22(9): doi.org/10.12968/nrec.2020.22.9.1
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).
Aldridge, Z (Publication due 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.
Harrison- Dening, K. Aldridge, Z et al (2017) Admiral Nursing: case management for families affected by dementia Nursing Standard. 31, 24, 42-50.
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.
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