Holidays can be a perfect opportunity to reconnect with a loved one, recharge your batteries and de-stress. And while holidaying with a person living with dementia can be more challenging, with some preparation, it can still be enjoyable and a time to make new, precious memories.
Heidi Crook, Devon’s first Admiral Nurse, has won the ‘Community Nurse of the Year’ award. This was the first community focused awards ceremony in Devon organised by Devon Community Education Provider Network with the support from both Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) and Nursing Leaders in the community. The award recognised Heidi as playing a pivotal role in supporting families and carers for people who have been diagnosed with dementia.
Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need. When things get challenging or difficult, Admiral Nurses work alongside families affected by dementia, giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions, helping families face dementia with more confidence and less fear.
Since starting her role in March 2017, Heidi has integrated herself within the health and social care team hosted by the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Her community based role has also seen her working with a number of healthcare professionals such as GPs and support groups so that families with dementia can get additional support whenever needed.
Commenting on her award, Heidi Crook, said,
It is an honour to receive this award as Devon’s first Admiral Nurse. I’d also like to thank all of my community colleagues who have supported me since I started this post. Helping families face dementia is something I’m incredibly passionate about and to get this kind of recognition shows the impact that Admiral Nurses can have in the local community.
Duncan Watt, Chair of Sid Valley Memory Café, said:
I am absolutely delighted that Heidi’s skills and hard work have been recognised in this way. News such as this really does highlight her invaluable role in the Sid Valley and why it’s so important that the community, led by Sid Valley Memory Café, continues to fundraise for this worthwhile cause supporting families affected by dementia.
Throughout her appointment, Heidi has been trained and supported by Dementia UK to ensure that the families she supports continue to benefit from the most current and specialist dementia care.
Dr. Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO at Dementia UK, said: “Heidi’s professionalism, competency and clinical expertise have stood out since her appointment. Through her incredible efforts, more families in Devon will now be receiving specialist dementia support. She is simply a shining example of what it means to be an Admiral Nurse. A very big thank you and congratulations to Heidi.”
There are currently 226 Admiral Nurses working across England, Scotland and Wales and Dementia UK’s target is to have 300 in place by 2020.
Gary Burnham-Jones is a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse supporting families through Dementia UK’s free Helpline and phone and video appointments.
We share answers to some common questions that our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses hear on Dementia UK’s Helpline over Christmas and the New Year – and that might help you over the weeks ahead.