What is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of progressive conditions that affect the brain. There are over 200 subtypes of dementia, but the five most common are: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia.
The brain is made up of nerve cells (neurones) that communicate with each other by sending messages. Dementia damages the nerve cells in the brain so messages can’t be sent from and to the brain effectively, which prevents the body from functioning normally.
Who is affected by Dementia?
Regardless of which type of dementia is diagnosed and what part of the brain is affected, each person will experience dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia can affect a person at any age but it is more commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65 years. A person developing dementia before age 65 is said to have young onset dementia.
There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is set to rise to over one million by 2021.
St Oswald’s Hospice acknowledges that dementia is a life limiting condition and that a person with dementia has palliative care needs. We recognise the challenges faced by families living with dementia and our aim is to support them to live well and at the end of life, to die well.
What is an Admiral Nurse?
St Oswald’s Hospice is working in collaboration with Dementia UK to provide an Admiral Nurse dedicated to palliative care for people living with dementia and their families.
Admiral Nurses are Specialist Dementia Nurses with experience of working with people with dementia and their families and carers.
They use a range of clinical skills and interventions to improve the quality of life of the carer, the person with dementia and the wider family unit.
They focus on providing holistic relationship centred care to help families living with dementia.
Who is the Admiral Nurse at St Oswald's?
St Oswald’s Admiral Nurse, Maya Gorton, supports carers and people with dementia in the later stages of the condition by working together with families to provide:
• One to one support.
• Expert guidance.
• Practical solutions for day to day living.
• Best practice advice to other healthcare professionals involved in the person’s care to make sure care is co-ordinated for the person living with dementia.
Patients are assessed in the location they are currently cared for, and recommendations are made. The assessment is followed up as the dementia progresses, so appropriate responses to changing symptoms can be made with the aim of alleviating any distress, as and when it occurs.
Referrals can be made by professionals involved such as GPs, district nurses, specialist palliative care nurses or other health and social care professionals.Download the referral form