Caroline Ellis is the clinical lead Admiral Nurse for Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, working in partnership with Dementia UK.
Admiral Nurses are qualified specialist nurses who work alongside people with dementia and their families to provide one to one support, expert guidance, and help with providing practical solutions when things get difficult or challenging. The focus for the Admiral Nurse is to support the carer/family member in their caring role.
Admiral Nurses were named by the family of Joseph Levy who cared for him during his experience of vascular dementia. The family founded the charity Dementia UK. Due to Joseph Levy’s love of sailing he was fondly known as Admiral Joe; hence the speciality of Admiral Nurses was formed.
The aim of Admiral Nursing is to help families to live more positively with a dementia diagnosis and to help them face challenges openly.
The Admiral Nurse help carers and patients live well with a dementia diagnosis and to provide the right emotional support during their dementia journey, but to also work closely with all other teams within the integrated care system to provide continuity of care, as well as supporting best practice and training.
The Admiral Nurse Service has evolved and adapted since the pandemic, with families having to cope in very challenging and difficult circumstances. This is due to all the usual respite options closing, lack of social interaction, and lack of day care facilities.
Referrals can be received from different care settings, such as community hospitals, acute hospital setting or when people live in their own homes. Caroline provides 1-1 telephone liaison emotional support. This has worked well, as carers feel they can speak more openly, feeling safe, relaxed and at ease to share their feelings and concerns from their own home environment speaking at their own time and pace.
If you know someone caring for a person with dementia, and you feel they need support from the Admiral Nurse Service. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a referral.
Dementia UK also have a helpline 0800 888 6678, open Mon- Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm.