MacIntyre is proud to continue our award-winning work on learning disabilities and dementia. In partnership with Dementia UK, the charity dedicated to supporting families facing dementia through specialist Admiral Nurses, we have been awarded funding to continue our legacy by welcoming Jane Nickels to join MacIntyre as the UK's first specialist Learning Disability Admiral Nurse.
Jane, who has 28 years in the care sector supporting people with learning disabilities, will be supporting people within MacIntyre who have, or are suspected to have dementia, along with their families/carers and wider circle of support.
We caught up with Jane a few days into her new role to discuss what she would like to achieve, what she hopes an average day will look like and how she will be providing support across MacIntyre.
Speaking about how she discovered the role, Jane said:
"I had always kept my eye on roles available at MacIntyre and Admiral Nurses. When I saw the job advertised, I thought, 'I've got to do it!"
Since our work on the MacIntyre Dementia Project came to close in 2018, MacIntyre has continued to lead the way with learning disabilities and dementia. By continuing to provide essential exposure and education on the topic, we aim to ensure that people with a learning disability can obtain an earlier diagnosis of dementia, receiving the support that they need. This is something Jane is keen to continue.
“I know how much of an award-winning success the MacIntyre Dementia Project was and the legacy that continues. I feel really honoured and proud to support this new chapter.”
What could a typical day look like for a Learning Disability Admiral Nurse?
"We are focusing on the people supported by MacIntyre who have a diagnosis of dementia, or a suspected diagnosis. If COVID-19 hadn't have happened, I would be going out to meet those people in person, but at the moment it's about getting creative. This means a lot of Zoom meetings, speaking to the people we support and their teams, finding out where on the 'dementia pathway' a person might be, learning about the person’s life-story and supporting them to maintain their independence for as long as possible.
It's a national role, so I will be covering any area that needs me to help with assessments, to help educate people on dementia, what to look for and provide a link to relevant professionals too."
As the first role of its kind, Jane remains confident there's an opportunity to shape the role to what people supported by MacIntyre, staff and families say they need and to work together to create positive outcomes for people.
"The benefits are that my role is flexible to people's needs. Once we start listening to what is needed, we can begin to implement ideas. We can work with the people we support, families and teams to understand what is working and what might not be.
I'm passionate about people staying in their own homes, if this is something they want to do. It's really important for people who have a diagnosis of dementia to have as many things around them that are important to them and to respect their wishes and Rights."
For Jane, this is just the beginning of her journey at MacIntyre.
"I'm really looking forward to it. I'd like to be able to share all that I learn with other teams, organisations and health professionals."
If you would like to find out more about our work on dementia, you can visit Our Expertise.
If you would like to find our more about Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses, please visit www.dementiauk.org