SPECIALIST nurses are now available in Cornwall to support and advise families caring for people with dementia.
The Admiral Nurse service was launched and funded as a result of the innovative partnership between Cornwall Care and Dementia UK.
Admiral Nurses Loraine Butterworth and Saul Mason are trained mental health nurses who support family carers to help them better understand and manage how dementia affects their lives.
The service also offers financial and practical advice through an Admiral support worker, qualified social worker Margaret Lovell.
Lisa Dann, chairman of Dementia UK Cornwall, said: "It's wonderful to see the new partnership between Cornwall Care and Dementia UK. This is just the start, and our group will continue to raise funds to support the growth of the Admiral Nurse network and the helpline to ensure this vital lifeline is available to anyone in the county."
More than 100 families caring for people with dementia have been referred to the Admiral Nurse service in Cornwall since it began in October 2013.
Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, officially launched the service in Cornwall at an event hosted by Cornwall Care on Friday.
A carer named only as Ursula said she initially struggled, as an independent person, to accept the help available when her husband Ron was diagnosed with dementia, but was grateful for Ms Butterworth's assistance.
She said: "Ron does often get confused about what's happening on the day but he remembers well what happened in the past. I've learnt from Loraine that restlessness indicates he's actually rather tired, that it's very important to drink plenty of water and how to react to some of the behaviour typical of vascular dementia. Her experience with this type of illness has really helped me to cope better, to keep calm, to speak up and to share my worries and feelings."
Hilda Hayo, chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK, said: "Admiral Nurses uniquely bridge the health and social care gap, and the practical and emotional support that they provide to family carers is unmatched by any other dementia service.
"We're delighted that Cornwall now has access to Admiral Nursing and that work in the area is already so strong."
Dementia UK also offers a national Admiral Nursing Direct helpline on 0845 2579406, as well as an e-mail service at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit www.dementiauk.org