This week (16 – 22 May 2022) is Dementia Action Week which is a perfect time to spotlight the Solent Mind, Remind Service, a partnership Rowans Hospice Charity, works extremely closely with. Remind is a service delivering support to those living with Dementia and their carers throughout Portsmouth. Through practical help and guidance, the service helps those people living with dementia maintain independence and connect with their community.
As soon as a person has received a formal Dementia diagnosis the specialist Remind team go along to the person’s home to help them and their loved ones plan the right amount of ongoing support. The team is made up of Intensive Engagement Support Workers, an Activity Co-Ordinator and two Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), Zena and Emma, who are from Rowans Hospice Charity and lead the complex Dementia and end of life care support pathway.
Meet our Dementia Clinical Nurse Specialists
Zena is a Registered General Nurse and joined the Charity in 2011 as part of the Hospice at Home Team. In June 2019 Zena moved to the CNS role and began working with Remind, where she was able to bring her own personal experience to the role, having cared for a close family member with Dementia.
I love being able to advocate for my patients and ensure they are able to make choices about the care they receive throughout their Dementia journey.
Emma is a Registered Mental Nurse and has been part of the Rowans Hospice team for a number of years having previously been the Ward Sister. Emma explained that whilst it is often difficult to see a patient deteriorate and their condition decline with Dementia, it is also extremely rewarding co-ordinating their care to ensure they are receiving the support they need and when they need it.
I am very passionate about working with people who have Dementia and I particularly enjoy building and developing relationships with patients and their families, often supporting them over a number of years.
Supporting Dementia patients and their families
Dementia manifests and progresses in different ways and therefore Emma and Zena recognise each person and family is unique with their own view of what living well and a good death looks like being very individual. Working alongside patients, their carer’s and loved ones, Emma and Zena support people who have complex needs from early diagnosis right through to end of life.
As with all of the Rowans Hospice Charity services, Remind helps patients to live as well as possible with their diagnosis. By the Remind team becoming involved from early in diagnosis, the patient is given the opportunity and support to have sensitive, timely conversations regarding any future planning, helping them to live as independently as they can, and when the time comes, to die well.
The support Remind offers may include:
- Practical home support to help retain independence.
- Activity and social groups to help keep the mind engaged and meet others.
- Help to access local support and benefits.
- Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) which is a small group therapy session that aids memory, thinking skills, wellbeing and confidence.
Emma has also run a successful “Dementia Dames” Support Group, which supports female partners who are still working and in recognition of this, Emma was awarded the Medal of the British People.
Part of the care Emma, Zena and the Remind team provide is supporting people to remain in their preferred place of care, whether that is at home, or in the specialist In-Patient Unit at Rowans Hospice. They also help to ensure the close connections established with the patient’s loved ones carries on following death, where they will then offer bereavement support.
Research shows there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80.
The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than 1 million.