New Admiral Nurse deliver extra dementia support in Norfolk

Norfolk's first Admiral Nurse, Zena Aldridge. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norfolk's first Admiral Nurse, Zena Aldridge. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

Patients living with dementia and their carers are receiving more support following the recruitment of Norfolk's first Admiral Nurses.

The county's first specialist dementia nurses have begun working in the mid Norfolk area to help dementia patients after Dementia UK and Age UK Norfolk joined forces for a two year pilot scheme.

Zena Aldridge became the county's first Admiral Nurse in April after the two charities received £60,000 from the People's Health Trust.

The recruitment has been followed by the mental health trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, recruiting two more Admiral Nurses Bridget Velduis and Sue Jones.

The nurses are based in a pilot area covering seven GP practices in the Dereham, Watton, Shipdham, North Elmham, and Toftwood areas.

Officials hope the Admiral Nurse scheme will be rolled out across the county with predictions that the number of people with dementia in Norfolk is set to rise from 12,900 to 17,000 by 2021.

The specialist nurses give advice and information, psychological support, assessments of the needs of family carers and people with dementia and offer referral to treatment and support services.

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Mrs Aldridge, who has worked as a mental health nurse for more than ten years, said the Admiral Nurses had already received more than 50 referrals.

'I feel really privileged to have this Admiral Nurse role. There are some that work for charitable organisations and others work in care homes or for mental health services. This is the first time it has worked corroboratively in this way.'

'We want to encourage people to live well with dementia and people can live really positively with dementia if they get the right support,' she said.

For more information, call 01603 785202.