A Gwynedd care home group has been granted permission by a leading dementia organisation to establish an all-inclusive support service to those living with dementia and their families, the first such scheme within nursing homes in Wales.
Meddyg Care, which operates two specialist dementia homes in Criccieth and Porthmadog, have been given approval by national charity Dementia UK to employ an Admiral nurse.
The position covers three main disciplines which aim to further assist the work carried out by traditional carers.
Admiral nurses offer comprehensive and focused knowledge to help families and those living with dementia through all stages of the disease, as well as additional backing and care for cases with extra complexities.
The role also supports the best practices of carers and staff to ensure a high standard of care is achieved on a daily basis.
Dementia UK manages the implementation of the role within homes and regions.
There are less than 300 admiral nurses within England and Wales, with none located in north Wales.
In addition, Meddyg Care’s Admiral nurse will be just the fourth in Wales, and the first situated within a care home, with the others currently within regional health boards and the Royal British Legion.
Meddyg Care managing director Kevin Edwards said: “The appointment of an Admiral nurse is not just a big step forward for Meddyg Care, but also a significant progression in dementia care quality across all of north Wales.
“Providing access to high-level care and support to not only our residents, but also their loved ones is one of our core principals, and we are thrilled to continue to strive towards that goal by establishing this service.
“Our work can only be boosted by sitting at the forefront of knowledge and skill provision when it comes to caring for those living with dementia, and the support arising from this new role will be of major benefit to all of our staff.”
Meddyg Care’s Admiral nurse will provide support from pre-admission to the care home and through any transitions in care including the end of life and post-bereavement.
Alongside the care homes’ continual training and development of staff, admiral nurses will also have access to further clinical supervision and professional development.
The approval for an Admiral nurse comes during 2021’s World Alzheimer’s Month, for which this year’s theme is ‘know dementia, know Alzheimer’s’, focusing on identifying the signs and symptoms of dementia so a correct diagnosis and support can be provided.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in the world, with more than 520,000 people within the UK living with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.
While signs of dementia can variety significantly between individuals, the most common early signs of Alzheimer’s are:
- Memory loss which disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing regular tasks
- Losing track of times and places
- Vision troubles or difficulties judging distance
- Trouble following or participating in conversations
- Misplacing items and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased judgment
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood or personality
Kevin added: “Knowing dementia and the best methods of care is half the challenge.
“This year’s World Alzheimer’s Month, where identifying the key signs of dementia is a core focus, ties in perfectly with what we hope to achieve with the addition of a new admiral nurse service.
“By providing a strong foundation of knowledge and support, our admiral nurse will be able to help those affected by dementia and their network through every step of the battle.”
The appointment of an Admiral nurse also falls in line with national strategies for care groups under the Dementia Action Plan for Wales 2018-2022.
The plan aims to provide an encompassing support system for those living with dementia and their families to enhance wellbeing and quality of life.
Recruitment for the position at Meddyg Care is due to begin in October.