10AM I schedule in one or two visits to families in the morning, depending on how long I think each visit will need. Today, I’m supporting a wife who had been caring for her husband who is living with dementia. When we first met, they had little support and she was struggling to respond to his rapidly changing behaviours. I have been meeting them regularly, sometimes as a couple or, like today, just her alone, which gives her space to talk openly and work through how best she can support her husband. Today we talked through the emotional challenges she is currently facing, particularly around their changing relationship.
12AM It’s time for a quick lunch break where I reflect on how the morning’s visit has gone, as well as respond to any emails or calls. Once a month I also attend a lunchtime Memory Café, to raise awareness of the work I do in the Sid Valley and offer advice and support to people living with dementia.
2PM: I meet with a man who has sadly just lost his wife to dementia. I first met him when her dementia was in the very advanced stages, and he was struggling to know when to accept more help or where to turn. We supported him through the end of his wife’s illness, planning care and support and helping him make some space for himself. He now needs support with the difficult transition faced by people who have lost a loved one to dementia. Our help does not stop at the point someone loses a loved one, and we are committed to providing practical and emotional support during this devastating time.
4PM: I finish my day back at my office, where I type up my case notes from the day, and discuss any learnings or questions with colleagues. I also use the time to respond to any calls or emails which have come in that day, and outline which families may need onward referrals.Heidi supports families living with dementia across the Sid Valley in Devon. She is the first Admiral Nurse in the region, and last year she won the ‘Community Nurse of the Year award’ recognising her work supporting families and carers of people who have been diagnosed with dementia.