South Coast care home provider Colten Care has appointed its first Admiral Nurse to offer specialist support for individuals and families affected by dementia.
Created in partnership with the charity Dementia UK, the role is aimed at helping residents’ families and those in the wider communities served by Colten Care’s 20 homes.
The company said post holder Kay Gibson has been appointed “due to her extensive knowledge and qualifications in dementia care.”
Operations Director Elaine Farrer said: “To put into perspective just how important this appointment is for us as a private operator, there are more than 650,000 registered nurses in the UK but only 180 Admiral Nurses, and most of them are in the NHS. Having Kay with us is a huge step forward in our dementia care strategy. We are thrilled to welcome her as we seek to meet our company-wide promise of supporting families to overcome the challenges associated with dementia.”
Kay is already known to Colten Care’s Dorset homes as she was previously an in-reach specialist nurse at Dorset Healthcare University Trust.
Kay said: “I’m genuinely excited to be at Colten Care and championing its continual drive towards excellence in dementia care. My role is both hands-on and strategic. It involves practical clinical supervision on the floor, reviewing dementia training and helping to develop the overall dementia strategy. As well as supporting the residents, families and team members at our homes I will be actively going out and helping the wider community too. If, for example, a family is struggling with decisions about a care home, or has concerns about an admissions process, I will meet with them to help. It’s so essential to get dementia care right for each individual and family affected by it. I want to help raise the positive profile of care homes and how we provide dementia care.”
Kay will work from Colten Care’s Ringwood management hub with a roving remit across its 20 homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex.
Her appointment comes as the family-owned provider holds its second annual ‘Dementia Utopia Day’, a conference enabling team members and community contacts to discuss how best to provide dementia care. This year’s event involves Dementia UK representatives and features interactive presentations on what good clinical care, dining, activities programmes and other parts of the overall care mix look like in the context of trying to live well with dementia.
As part of its dementia strategy, Colten Care supports the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends initiative by hosting information sessions for staff, residents, relatives and community contacts at all 20 of its homes.
It has set a specific target of having 80% of its 1,800 employees attend a session and become a Dementia Friend by March 2017.
The name Admiral Nurse was coined by the family of Dementia UK founder Joseph Levy CBE BEM. He had vascular dementia and was known affectionately as ‘Admiral Joe’ because of his love of sailing.