Nine ways an Admiral Nurse can support you this year

February 2, 2022

Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses. Continually supported and developed by Dementia UK, they provide life-changing support for families affected by all forms of dementia – including Alzheimer’s disease.

Our nurses are here when people need help. They have the time to listen and the knowledge to solve problems. Here are just a few ways our Admiral Nurses can support you this year.

1. Communication support

One of the things Rachel, our Admiral Nurse, -advised, which we both find helpful, is to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. So, for me to imagine how Heather is feeling and thinking and vice versa. That has really helped

Chris

Chris and Heather's story

Chris and her partner Heather

2. Tailored advice

I called the Dementia UK Admiral Nurse Helpline for advice, and they talked me through my options including respite care for mum. The Admiral Nurse wrote me a long, invaluable email about my options in getting help. There were links in the email to a lot of useful information.

The information I received from calling the Helpline went beyond anything I had found online myself, it was so tailored to our personal situation.

Emma

Emma and her mum, Nancy

Emma and her mum

3. Practical support

Our Admiral Nurse, Sam, made little suggestions for making the day that bit easier. Lester started refusing to change his clothes. Sam suggested I got loads of clothes that were exactly the same, all in one colour. Then I’d swap them around quickly while he was in bed.

That’s what Admiral Nurses do: they help you isolate each tricky little problem, then come up with a plan to get around it

Diana

Diana and Lester - Remember a Star

Diana and her partner Lester

4. Emotional support

I could tell you about all the support our Admiral Nurse, Kerry, gave us, but I don’t think it would convey the most crucial thing Kerry brought, which was this: she made us all feel like someone cared about my dad and us, not only that my dad was being cared for.

Kerry’s empathy shone through and she came into our lives when it mattered most. She helped my dad have the best possible end to his life and helped to give us the strength we needed to be there for him

Neil

Neil and his dad David, at a football stadium

Neil and his dad David

5. Financial support

We applied for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) to fund Mum’s care needs, but we had so many issues. It was a testing time, which I couldn’t have faced without my Admiral Nurse, Simone.

There was a lot of advocating on our behalf from Simone, and it did finally get resolved because of her support and knowledge. Simone followed up a lot of things with CHC to ease the pressure on me so I could spend quality time with my mum

Mary

Mary and her mum

Mary and her mum

6. End of life/bereavement support

When the end was approaching, I don’t know what we would have done without our Admiral Nurse, Kellie. Without her practical and emotional support, Gladys certainly wouldn’t have passed away surrounded by her family – the people she loved most in the world. Kellie has continued to support me since Gladys died and has helped me to rebuild my life

Colin

Colin and Gladys

Colin and his wife Gladys

7. Understanding changes in behaviour

My Admiral Nurse, Christa, allowed me to get a sense of what was going on in my husband’s mind, in a way that no one else could. Sometimes Dave would get angry with me and say ‘I’ve got no money, no coat and no shoes.’ Christa said that these items could signify essential things to give Dave comfort.

Without Christa to talk these things through, I can’t think how I would have managed

Jacky

Jacky and her husband Dave

Jacky and her husband Dave

8. Supporting you to care at home

I needed to get David back, as I knew I could care for him in our home. With Kerry’s knowledge of what home life was like from previous visits, I knew she would fight for our need to be at home together again. Without Kerry, I think David would have been re-admitted to hospital unnecessarily, or he wouldn’t be here at all

Marilyn

Marilyn and David sit in their home

Marilyn and her husband David

9. Signposting to local services

I was finally prompted to make contact with the Helpline after my aunt was referred by the GP for a brain scan. I asked the nurse what the point was of having a diagnosis when it was so clear to me it was dementia.

In such a kind, understanding and compassionate way, the Admiral Nurse explained that a diagnosis would give my aunt better access to local services. She suggested I contact the council to make improvements to the bathroom and visit the GP for medication. This helped my aunt stay in her own home for longer. Without this advice, I would have felt more pressured

Julie

Julie’s aunt Dolores

Your stories

Read how our nurses offer a lifeline to people affected by dementia, and what this vital support means to them

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How can we support you

Whether you have a question that needs an immediate answer or need emotional support when life feels overwhelming, these are the ways you can get in touch with our dementia specialist Admiral Nurses

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