Families, friends and residents raised a cuppa or two at care homes across the south to highlight the vital role of specialist dementia nursing professionals.
All 21 Colten Care homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex staged tea parties or coffee mornings to help raise awareness of Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurses.
It was part of the national Time for a Cuppa initiative, now in its tenth year and the dementia charity’s biggest annual fundraiser.
Dementia UK currently has 279 Admiral Nurses working across the community in care homes, hospitals and hospices.
Specially trained experts in dementia, they offer families one-to-one support, guidance and practical solutions, especially when circumstances become challenging.
In partnership with Dementia UK, Colten Care is the only private care home provider to employ a Consultant Admiral Nurse as one of its Admiral Nurse team.
Adam Smith was at St Catherines View, Colten’s Winchester dementia care home, to welcome visitors attending Time for a Cuppa.
Adam said: “As well as enjoying a restorative brew, bacon brunch and piece of cake, this was an ideal opportunity for families to get together and talk about their experience of dementia, hopefully reducing some of the stigma associated with it.”
As a Consultant Admiral Nurse, Adam has both strategic and operational responsibilities for Admiral Nurse team development and clinical supervision.
In addition to St Catherines View, he works alongside Admiral Nurse Kay Gibson across Colten’s three other dedicated dementia care homes. These are the ‘Outstanding’-rated Linden House in Lymington, plus Fernhill in Ferndown and The Aldbury in Poole.
Communities around Colten’s non-dementia-specific homes are also supported by the Admiral Nurse team.
Time for a Cuppa visitor Sharon Bethell, whose mother lives at St Catherines View, said: “The specific knowledge that Admiral Nurses have about people with dementia is extremely useful. They have been able to give me and my family really balanced advice.”
Vanda Baker, St Catherines View Home Manager, said: “A huge thank-you to everyone who supported us and came along to our Time for a Cuppa party. It’s all part of our focus on building relationships with families to ensure our residents are living well with dementia.”
Colten Care’s dementia strategy includes regular drop-in sessions with Adam and the team, an ‘Ask-an-Admiral Nurse’ website, and support for Dementia Action Alliances in the communities served by all its 21 homes.
Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO at Dementia UK, said: “Dementia can be so emotionally and practically challenging for families which is why the expertise of an Admiral Nurse is vital. Colten Care is helping us reach our aim of being there for every family who needs us.”
In the ten years since Dementia UK launched Time for a Cuppa, more than £750,000 has been raised towards the costs of Admiral Nurses nationally. For more information visit www.dementiauk.org/timeforacuppa. Colten Care’s Ask-an-Admiral website is www.coltencare.co.uk/admiral-nurse.