Mystery benefactor funds new dementia support workers at N&N

Dementia support at the N&N. Support worker Adele McCrory with Ann Saunders and the 'This is Me' book about her father John Goldie. Photo: Bill Smith Dementia support at the N&N. Support worker Adele McCrory with Ann Saunders and the 'This is Me' book about her father John Goldie. Photo: Bill Smith

Adam Gretton Health correspondent adam.gretton@archant.co.uk
Friday, January 17, 2014
6:30 AM

A mystery benefactor has helped fund three new support workers at Norfolk’s biggest hospital to provide more support to patients with dementia, their families and carers.

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Dementia support at the N&N. 92-year-old Rona Heir with dementia support worker Angela Hodge. Photo: Bill SmithDementia support at the N&N. 92-year-old Rona Heir with dementia support worker Angela Hodge. Photo: Bill Smith

The dementia support workers have begun working on inpatient wards at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital with the aim of enhancing the experience of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

The three new roles, which also offer specialist advice and support to the relatives and carers of people with dementia, have been funded by a local charity who have asked to remain anonymous.

Officials from the N&N said the donation would fund the dementia support workers for five years and the hospital would look to extend the roles to outpatient services in the future.

Angela Hodge, Adele McCrory and Charlotte Kippin have started the jobs to signpost families to support services and work with patients on a one to one basis to promote wellbeing and cognitive stimulation by reading to dementia patients and doing hand massages.

The dementia support workers have received training by the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, the Alzheimer’s Society, MIND and Norfolk Library Services.

Dr Martyn Patel, consultant geriatrician and lead for dementia at the N&N, said: “Dementia or delirium affects around a third of our in-patients, so we are delighted to have this service up and running, offering extra support to this group of patients and their families. If you have dementia, being away from home and the people who usually care for you can be distressing and lonely. Not all patients with dementia will need this service but clinical teams or social services can refer patients they think could benefit from any of the areas of support the team offers.”

Liz Yaxley, dementia project manager added that the new workers were on hand to support patients with an existing or new diagnosis seven days a week and covered evenings and weekends.

Has your family been affected by dementia? Contact Adam Gretton on 01603 772419 or email adam.gretton@archant.co.uk

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