This is an online introductory course designed for registered nurses who wish to find out more about the role of an Admiral Nurse and are considering a career in Admiral Nursing. This course will also be useful to Health and Social Care professionals who wish to find out more about the complexities when supporting families living with dementia.
It has been created by Dementia UK which is the charity that supports families facing dementia through the work of Admiral Nursing.
Admiral Nurses work with families and the systems around them by taking a family and relationship focused approach (Source: Dementia UK)
Dementia UK are constantly updating the coronavirus hub on their website. Visit it to read the latest advice from dementia specialist Admiral Nurses, including the list of frequently asked questions coming through to the Dementia UK Helpline.
Coronavirus: advice for families looking after someone with dementia
The current government advice is for everyone over age 70 or with other health conditions to stay at home for up to 16 weeks. This does not specifically include people with dementia; but if the person you care for has other health considerations, or is in any way vulnerable, you might decide to follow this advice. Full detail here
Coronavirus: questions and answers
Dementia UK have put together a list of commonly asked questions totheir Helpline, which will be updated as and when the situation develops. Full detail here
Leaflets and information
Information, blogs and ideas for people living with dementia during this time. Full detail here
As the clocks go back this weekend, and with evenings becoming darker earlier, Helen Green who works on Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline talks about how she united one family troubled by sundowning
Sundowning is a term used for the changes in behaviour that occur in the evening, around dusk. Some people who have been diagnosed with dementia experience a growing sense of agitation or anxiety at this time.
Sundowning symptoms might include a compelling sense that they are in the wrong place. The person with dementia might say they need to go home, even if they are home; or that they need to pick the children up, even if that is not the case. Other symptoms might include shouting or arguing, pacing, or becoming confused about who people are or what’s going on.
Follow a routine during the day that contains activities the person enjoys
Going outside for a walk or visiting some shops is good exercise
Limit the person’s intake of caffeinated drinks. Consider stopping the person from drinking alcohol altogether. Caffeine-free tea, coffee and cola are available, as is alcohol-free beer and wine
Try and limit the person’s naps during the day to encourage them to sleep well at night instead
Close the curtains and turn the lights on before dusk begins, to ease the transition into nighttime
If possible, cover mirrors or glass doors. Reflections can be confusing for someone with dementia
Once you are in for the evening, speak in short sentences and give simple instructions to the person, to try and limit their confusion
Avoid large meals in the evening as this can disrupt sleep patterns
Introduce an evening routine with activities the person enjoys, such as: watching a favourite programme, listening to music, stroking a pet etc. However, try to keep television or radio stations set to something calming and relatively quiet—sudden loud noises or people shouting can be distressing for a person with dementia.
Helping a person with dementia to maintain a healthy diet can be difficult for the people caring for them. This leaflet aims to provide some positive tips on ways to help | Dementia UK
People with dementia may experience problems with eating and drinking.
There are many reasons this might happen. They might:
forget to eat
experience difficulties preparing food
have difficulty recognising food items
have a change in appetite or taste
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important for a person’s physical and mental health. Not eating and drinking enough can increase the risk of dehydration, weight loss, a urinary tract infection and constipation. These health problems can be particularly problematic for someone with dementia as they can increase confusion and the risks of delirium, and sometimes make the symptoms of dementia worse.
This leaflet from Dementia UK provides useful tips on the following: