What will an Admiral Nurse do in the Sid Valley?

Amy Pepper shares her daily experience as an Admiral Nurse in London.

Amy Pepper shares her daily experience as an Admiral Nurse in London. - Credit: Archant

As the Sid Valley community gets ever closer to its own dementia specialist, the Herald has teamed up with Dementia UK to provide an insight into a typical day for an Admiral Nurse.

Amy Pepper works as an Admiral Nurse within the London Borough of Sutton. She has been a qualified mental health nurse specialising in dementia since 2008.

Speaking to unforgettable.org about her schedule, Amy explains in her own words how a dementia specialist helps to provide ‘seamless care’ for families living with dementia.

? 8am – Every day is different and there are times when I have an early appointment to fit in with a carer who perhaps also works, but today I start my day at the office. My schedule is always busy so I like to have a bit of time at the start of the day to plan the coming week. Today, I’m collating some information that I will use in an education session with a carer later today.

? 10am – I’m on my way to a new assessment with a family that I have spoken to on the phone but not met in person yet.

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This family were referred to me as the husband has a diagnosis of Lewy Body dementia and he and his wife are struggling to come to terms with the hallucinations this is causing – both are finding it frightening and the wife has become depressed. I spend an hour and a half with the couple together, listening to their story and assessing both their needs.

By the end of the appointment, we have built up a good rapport and have made a plan to help with understanding and coping with the hallucinations, managing the low mood for the wife and working on the communication between them to help keep their relationship strong in the face of dementia. The wife says that this is the first time a professional has considered their needs as a couple since the diagnosis.

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? Noon – A meeting is scheduled with the local community mental health team who I meet with once a month, along with our social care team, in order to discuss the cases where a joined-up approach is needed to support families living with dementia. During this meeting, we discuss about 10 cases, which is essential for making sure families receive joined-up and seamless care.

? 2pm – I meet with another carer at home, who I have been seeing for the past couple of months. Her father has a diagnosis of vascular dementia and she is struggling to support him around some of his more unusual behaviours. She prefers to meet me on her own, whilst he is at the day centre, as she feels she can be more open without him being there. She is experiencing depression and anxiety which make it more difficult for her to learn skills and coping strategies for her caring role. By the end of the session, we have been able to identify some strategies she can try when caring for her father and she is feeling a bit more positive. We make an appointment to see each other again in a few weeks to continue the work we started today. I remind her that she can call me in between visits if things become difficult, as carers need a reliable person to call upon.

? 4pm – I end the day back at the office, where I write up my case notes and catch up on emails and phone calls before the end of the day.

This interview was first published on Unforgettable, for more information visit https://www.unforgettable.org/

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