WARRINGTON based care operator Belong has launched a specialist dementia helpline run by Admiral Nurses to ensure family members and carers of its customers continue to be supported throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.
Usually delivered through face-to-face home visits or appointments at one of Belong’s seven state-of-the-art care villages, including Belong Warrington on Loushers Lane, the Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia, and their families: giving them support, expert guidance and practical solutions. The unique dementia expertise and experience an Admiral Nurse brings is a lifeline. The organisation made the decision to switch to a telephone-based service as part of a number of measures to help families to face the current challenges and to ensure the health and wellbeing of its customers during this difficult time.
Headed up by Admiral Nurses, Caroline Clifton and Louise McDonald, the free service continues its mission to improve the quality of life of Belong customers who have been medically diagnosed with dementia, alongside those who care for them. This includes helping them live positively with the condition and develop skills to improve communication and maintain relationships.
Louise was recruited to expand the admiral nurse team at the end of last year and provides support for residents and customers at Belong villages in Atherton, Wigan, Macclesfield and Warrington, alongside those who use Belong’s home care service in the surrounding areas. Louise also advises Belong colleagues on best practice for dementia care.
Graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2013, with a BSc Honours in Mental Health Nursing, 31-year-old Louise has a strong track record in the NHS. She began her career at specialist mental health facility, Cross Lane Hospital in Scarborough, before taking up the role of memory assessment nurse at the Salford Memory Assessment and Treatment Service, where she was also one of the Practice Education Leads (PEL) for student nurses on placement in the area.
Commenting on the new telesupport service, Louise said: “Our job is to make the lives of those we support easier and that’s exactly what we are aiming to do with this new service. Moving to telephone consultations will enable family members and carers of our customers to contact us from the safety of their own homes, without sacrificing on the support they receive. Whether it’s offering advice and coping strategies, or simply lending an ear, we will do everything we can to provide assistance during this difficult time.”
Stacey McCann, chief operations officer at Belong, said: “Moving to a telephone-based system has been crucial in ensuring our Admiral Nurses can continue to offer expert practical and emotional guidance to those in need during this time of global uncertainty, and we hope it has brought some comfort to our customers and those who support them.”
Dementia UK, a charity that works in partnership with NHS providers and commissioners, social care authorities and voluntary sector organisations, is responsible for upholding the standards of Admiral Nurses nationwide, and will continue to support the work of Admiral Nurses at Belong.
Belong customers, family members and carers can access the dementia telesupport service by contacting the village on 01925 593 800.
Members of the wider community can contact the main Admiral Nurse helpline on 0800 888 6678.