Norfolk’s first Admiral Nurse has returned to the county to support local people with dementia and their families during the pandemic.
Zena Aldridge, an Admiral Nurse Research Fellow at Dementia UK, has temporarily rejoined to the Central Norfolk Admiral Nurse team where she became the first Admiral Nurse in the area in 2014.
Her return, through the support of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dementia UK, has occurred in an attempt to offer extra support to an increasing number of families who are struggling to cope during the lockdown.
Commenting on her return, she said: “The arrival of coronavirus has caused a fundamental shift in our day to day lives. It’s so important to adapt and help out however you can. Families with dementia can feel particularly vulnerable at this time, as normal support networks shut down. This can increase feelings of isolation and distress which families affected by the condition already face.”
“It’s so important for me to be able to return to the Admiral Nurse team in Norfolk. The compassion and willingness of all of the team to help families affected by dementia is a shining beacon of positivity in what are very trying times. It’s great to be able to support them during this difficult time too.”
Aldridge’s primary responsibility for two days a week, alongside her role at Dementia UK, will see her triaging the waiting list of families in need, and responding to calls where families are experiencing a significant amount of distress.
She will be supporting families in the local area to complement this, ensuring they have a supply of essential items as well as checking on people who may be feeling isolated.
She will also be answering a number of calls from health and social care professionals who are looking to find more information about the implications of coronavirus for people with dementia, and how best they can support them.