Deborah’s Dad Graham sadly died in Autumn 2016 after living with dementia for a number of years. As a way of thanking their Admiral Nurses, and to help other people going facing dementia, Deborah donated to Dementia UK in memory of her Dad, with generous donations from the funeral and a contribution from herself and her husband.
“My Dad was a lively character with a wonderful sense of humour and the best fisherman in the club! As a child we lived on the East coast and I remember our happiest days spent on the beach.
In 2011 my Dad was diagnosed with dementia– it was a long hard journey and the Admiral Nurses were there throughout that time. My Dad was terrified of getting old and ill which always meant that I had to be strong and it was very, very, hard. For many years our relationship wasn’t good but because of the Admiral Nurses we had a happy ending.
The Admiral Nurses provided an excellent mix of emotional holding, practical support and medical help. For the last five years Dad was in a nursing home where the dementia nurses became like my family. They gave me the support and confidence to go on. Sometimes I couldn’t get home fast enough to get on the phone to speak to an Admiral Nurse. Without them I would have crumbled and walked away, but with the counselling they gave me I was strong enough to ensure that Dad died in the care home he knew and surrounded by the staff that loved him, rather than go into hospital. It also meant that I had enough information on end of life care to be able to work with care staff to put things in place at exactly the right times.
I gained the confidence to help with his care which was very precious to me. The Admiral Nurses taught me to do his mouth care and massage his hands and feet and because of this closeness I gained an insight into his life as a child and he knew me right up until the end.
I cannot thank the Admiral Nurses enough for the kindness, compassion and support they have given me. I would most certainly not have got through these difficult times without the knowledge and strength that I was given and to be able to share difficult feelings with someone who can bear them. So although I am extremely sad, my feelings are not overwhelming and I feel free to grieve in a positive and healthy way.
I was provided with something truly wonderful and hope that our small donation helps to ensure that others receive what I have.”
(This is a real story but names have been changed and stock photograph used to protect the family’s privacy)