Seven of our specialist dementia nurses, known as Admiral Nurses,sharethe things they think everyone should know about dementia.
You can live a positive life after a diagnosis
One thing I wish people knew about dementia is that you can live a positive and fulfilling life following a diagnosis. As an Admiral Nurse, I educate the person living with dementia and their loved ones on how to lead a positive life and make memories.
– Mark Oakley, Admiral Nurse
Making comparisons may cause distress
I wish people knew that every person living with dementia has a unique experience. Everyone’s journey is individual and making comparisons can sometimes cause more distress for the person living with dementia and their family.
– Liz Tomlinson, Admiral Nurse
Get to know the person’s values and beliefs
Dementia affects everyone differently so it is important to get to know the person living with dementia well, including their values and beliefs. This means you can care for them in a way that supports their uniqueness. I believe this is how we can support people to live as well as possible with a diagnosis of dementia.
– Stephanie Ragdale, Acute Admiral Nurse
Hearing loss is important to monitor
One thing I wish people knew is that if someone lives with dementia, it’s really important to monitor and address hearing loss. As dementia progresses it can become increasingly difficult for the brain to interpret sounds, and hearing impairments can exacerbate the symptoms of dementia. This can cause distress and social isolation which could otherwise be avoided.
– Beth Goss Hill, Consultant Admiral Nurse
People living with dementia will remember how you make them feel
People with dementia can often be guided by their emotions. They will remember how you made them feel, rather than the details of what you did or said. It is important to pay attention to the emotional impact we can have on a person through our everyday interactions. Consider your approach, your body language, your tone of voice, and your facial expressions. You can really make a difference to someone’s day if you consider how you make them feel.
– Sheridan Coker, Clinics Admiral Nurse
There is no ‘one size fits all’
There is no ‘one size fits all’ for people who are affected by dementia, regardless of which type of dementia they are diagnosed with. Each person will experience dementia in their own unique way. Many factors can impact on the journey including the environment the person is in, the people around them and of course their unique life experiences and personalities.
– Pam Kehoe, Consultant Admiral Nurse
A dementia diagnosis is not the end
When people think of dementia, they often think about the advanced stages. However, a diagnosis of dementia is not the end,and peoplecan still live fulfilling and sociable lives. A dementia diagnosis can be scary, and it will change certain aspects of someone’s life as time goes by. But we can’t live worrying about tomorrow. People with dementia can do something that brings them joy every day. I’ve worked with many people withthe diagnosis who have taken up new hobbies and made new friends.
– Rachael Lowe, Clinics Admiral Nurse
Seven things you should know about dementia – carers series
Seven carers of people with dementia share the things they think everyone should know about dementia