So, after months of pondering, here I am! I have spent nearly twenty years working with people with dementia, and I have always wanted a way in which to share some of my experiences, both positive and more challenging. I would like to share with you where I am today – having spent ten years working as a Memory Nurse, which involved assessing and diagnosing people with dementia, supporting them and their loved ones through this difficult (understatement!) time, and continuing to support them in all aspects of their lives really. Medication, navigating the social care system, advocating for them with the benefits system, liaisong with other agencies to seek the best support for them and their loved ones.
I have been in my current role of a year, working within an acute hospital with the Older Person’s Mental Health Liaison Team. The bread and butter of the role is assessment of individuals with a host of mental health issues, but the majority of our referrals are for individuals with a variety of needs, at all stages of dementia, and supporting the ward teams in their care provision. I am excited to be involved in two new projects within the hospital, and hope to share my journey in these projects with you. Firstly, the hospital is relaunching the Dementia Champions initiative, which means that on every ward there will be staff members with a particular interest in supporting individuals with dementia and supporting their colleagues in providing the most appropriate care for them. The second is setting up drop-in sessions for “carers” – family members, friends, neighbours – of individuals currently being cared for in the hospital, giving them a forum to ask questions and share with others in their situation. These will be run in conjunction with other carer support services in the city, so that the carers will know where they can gain continued support when their loved one has been discharged.
I hope some of my musings will be useful to you, enlightening, educational, entertaining maybe? I will be pleased to hear from you with your thoughts and experiences too.
Good night for now, hope to see you soon x x