As Dementia Awareness Week begins across the UK, a leading North East dementia charity has strengthened its service with the appointment of Newcastle’s first Admiral Nurse in partnership with the national charity Dementia UK, who provide specialist dementia support for families through their Admiral Nurse service.

Joe Costello has joined the team at Dementia Care, which runs specialist day centres in Newcastle upon Tyne and Hexham and provides a range of services for those with dementia and their families.

The 44-year-old from Northumberland will bring significant expertise and experience of working with people diagnosed with dementia to his new position, having spent his career in various community nursing roles in the NHS.

Admiral Nurses, supported by Dementia UK, are at the forefront of dementia care and work with families, offering them the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions they need.

In his new role, Joe will also manage Dementia Care’s free Dementia Guides service, based at The Bradbury Centre, in Brunswick Village, Newcastle.

Dementia Guides are people who act as a single point of contact for those living with dementia and their families, helping them understand the condition and its effects, visiting them at home and offering on-going support as needed.

They can also advise on a number of topics, from arranging a Power of Attorney to healthy living and cooking. They can help access other services in the area and provide free products ranging from easy-to-use clocks and reminders to mobile phone apps and health monitors.

Muriel Hargrave whose husband Tony attend the Day Centre at The Bradbury Centre in Brunswick was helped by Dementia Guide Bill McGregor who is based at the centre.

She said “Bill has been fantastic, such a great support. Through my contact with Bill and after visiting Dementia Care, I was able to see the help that was available, and my husband now attends the Day Centre twice a week.  I have also taken the opportunity of having a break by Tony accessing the respite facility at the Bradbury Centre”.

“It is so good to know he is happy here and being looked after so well, and it does give me time to myself which is important if you are looking after someone with Dementia full time”.

“I would encourage anyone who is struggling alone to cope with a loved one with Dementia to access the Dementia Guide service at Dementia Care and look at the Day Centre and Respite facilities “

Joe and his team will also help families access Dementia Care’s on-line course on making the home more dementia-friendly.

“Dementia Care really is leading the way in providing an overarching service for those with dementia and their families here in the North East,” said Joe, “and I am thoroughly looking forward to strengthening that service and being part of their highly skilled and very welcoming team.”

Carol Brown, Dementia Care’s Head of Care, said the appointment of an Admiral Nurse will be “of huge benefit to service users and their families.

“Joe brings an additional level of expertise and specialist training to Dementia Care,” she said, “and we are delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Dr Hilda Hayo, Dementia UK’s Chief Admiral Nurse said: “We are very pleased with Joe’s appointment. Admiral Nursing interventions have been proven to avert avoidable and costly crises and reduce hospital admissions and early residential care. Admiral Nurses also work collaboratively with health and social care professionals to share their dementia expertise and therefore improve the overall dementia care that families receive.”

Joe’s appointment was made possible with financial support from Dementia Care, Northstar Foundation, The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria and Dementia UK, who will also provide him with ongoing training and monitoring.

For further information, call Dementia Care on 0191 217 1323 or visit www.dementiacare.org.uk.

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