Our Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline is partnered with a number of charitable organisations. Through these relationships, our partners can continue their vital work and the Helpline can grow and support more people with dementia.
We had a chat with the Helpline Nurses who have played a key role in developing these partnerships and ensuring that people from all walks of life get the specialist dementia support they need.
Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association – Joanne Freeman
Dementia UK’s Helpline has been in partnership with the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association since 2016. CABA offers practical and emotional support to both past and present accountants and their families. The partnership was formed so they would have experts in dementia to refer their clients to if needed. In return the Helpline receives support to allow it to continue to grow and support more families.
As part of our partnership, they refer clients who contact them with questions or concerns about dementia to the Helpline. This is done with explicit permission via a referral form to ensure we’re safeguarding the personal information of members.
We support their clients as we would any caller by offering telephone and email support. For example, if there is a local Admiral Nurse team in the person’s area, we can refer them to that team. The majority of the clients that are referred to us are either of working age and are supporting a parent with dementia, or a retired member with a spouse who has a diagnosis of dementia.
Since becoming the link person between the Helpline and CABA, I generate a quarterly contact report so both organisations have access to the information about how many clients have been supported by the Helpline and a brief overview of what support and advice was offered.
I also liaise between ourselves and CABA. This year I had the opportunity to visit the CABA offices and deliver an awareness session to staff. This was followed by a meeting with their support officers to discuss any specific questions about the Helpline and how we can support their clients. This illustrates the positive relationship the two charities have built together since our partnership started.
Lewy Body Society – Mutsai Hove Bird
In July 2018 the Lewy Body Society and Dementia UK launched a new partnership to offer expert advice and information on Lewy body dementia through the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline. Lewy body dementia is estimated to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK. It can be diagnosed wrongly and is often mistaken for Alzheimer’s. As well as preventing duplication in services and support, this valuable partnership allows the Lewy Body Society to concentrate its efforts on funding research into the diagnosis and treatment of Lewy body dementia, and raising awareness of the condition.
Lewy Body Society staff can refer family carers to us by giving out our Helpline number. Carers can then call us directly. This service is free to family carers accessing it.
We provide expert practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with Lewy body dementia. As well as telephone advice and support to address carers’ specific needs, we also inform the carer of the contact details for a local Admiral Nurse service, if available.
The partnership is growing. In our first year the Admiral Nurse Helpline had over 25 referrals from the LBS. Dementia UK are currently recruiting a national specialist Consultant Admiral Nurse for Lewy body dementia. The post is a joint appointment between Dementia UK and the Lewy Body Society. The role will include raising awareness of Lewy body dementia, driving policy and developing specialist care for families affected by this subtype.
RAF Benevolent Fund – Vicky Wheeler
Since the beginning of 2019, Dementia UK’s Helpline has been in partnership with the Royal Air Force Benevolent fund.
We identify those who telephone the Admiral Nurse Dementia helpline, who have served within the Royal Air Force. Not only do we offer specialist dementia support by qualified Admiral Nurses, but through our collaboration we can refer directly by signposting to the RAF Benevolent Fund, which is the leading welfare charity for the RAF. They can also offer professional and compassionate welfare advice for families and carers who know someone with dementia.
Dementia UK recognises the invaluable contribution the RAF has made and continues to make to this country. It is only right that air force personnel receive the best care and support possible – this partnership allows for this to happen.