Humberside

Support nurses scheme launched for home carers in Hull

A new team of nurses in Hull has been set up specifically to care for people who look after dementia sufferers.

Three "Admiral Nurses" will help families access specialist support services and offer advice.

The scheme aims to deal with an expected rise in the number of dementia cases over the next decade.

A 2008 report by the King's Fund predicted the number of people in England with dementia will rise by 61%, by 2026.

Also, in 2007 a Leeds University investigation suggested that each carer looking after a relative at home saved the NHS £15,260 a year.

'Lonely road'

One of the Admiral Nurses, Jon Bell, said: "They estimate that something like £87bn a year is being saved by the government by carers doing what they do. It's a massive, massive amount of money.

"The economic argument is a bit of a non-starter really. I think we are very cost-effective."

One of the main objectives of the project is to help families who believe a relative has dementia get a diagnosis.

According to the Humber NHS Foundation Trust, there are 929 people with dementia in Hull. But it is estimated only 36% of sufferers have had a clinical diagnosis.

Bernice Cooke, who is looking after her husband Geoff, has struggled to get support after he lost his job when he became forgetful.

She said: "I always knew that there was something wrong. Geoff wasn't my Geoff, I'd lost him.

"But, it really was a very hard and long, lonely road. Because we didn't feel there was any help."

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