Honiton’s Admiral Nurse working hard to support families with dementia during Covid-19 pandemic

Fay Valentine has been working hard amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Picture: Heather Penwarden

Fay Valentine has been working hard amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Picture: Heather Penwarden - Credit: Archant

Honiton’s Admiral Nurse has been working hard to support families with dementia through their social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fay Valentine has had to adapt to ‘new and unprecedented circumstances’ during the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives in the UK.

Part funded by Honiton Hospital and Community League of Friends and community fundraising effort, Fay has been working from Honiton Hospital for about 18 months.

She said: “Like all other health professionals that provide a community service I have had to prioritise my caseload to identify those most vulnerable and at risk to ensure continued support to them during the Covid -19 pandemic.

“Instead of mainly face to face consultations I am in the main providing emotional and practical support and advice through telephone consultations and only when essential a visit.

“This is in line with government guidance in order to protect and shield those in our community most vulnerable. It will also enable us to adapt and respond quickly to meet the needs of people in our community should they become unwell through the virus.

“Being a carer for someone you love who has dementia is rewarding but also has its challenges.

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“With increased isolation through staying at home and with the loss of attending local support groups and the closure of day care centres can mean carers are feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities.

“Having someone to talk through their concerns or to seek practical tips and advice how to adapt to staying at home or caring for a loved one at home is vital.”

Dementia UK has created a hub on its website, which includes a range of resources about Covid-19 and how to look after someone with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s society website has also produced some online guidance and resources for carers.

Heather Penwarden, chair of Dementia Action Alliance, said; “Never has it been more important that we have the expert support that an Admiral Nurse can bring.

“Along with many other charities, all of our fundraising activities have been suspended but we were delighted to recently receive generous donations from two local groups.

“Honiton Wine Bar Golf Society handed over £430.70 raised from matches played over the past year and Offwell Village donated money raised from their Burns Nigh supper held earlier in the year.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported us.”