MACINTYRE, a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autism and Dementia UK, the charity dedicated to supporting families facing dementia through specialist Admiral Nurses, are proud to appoint Jane Nickels as the UK’s first Learning Disability Admiral Nurse.
Evidence shows that people with learning disabilities, particularly those with Down Syndrome, have an increased risk of developing dementia compared with the general population. Yet achieving a timely diagnosis of dementia for people with a learning disability can be challenging, as changes in behaviour are often attributed to their learning disability.
Receiving a timely diagnosis of dementia can and does make a significant difference to someone with a learning disability and dementia’s quality of life.
With 28 years in the care sector, covering both learning disabilities and dementia, as the UK’s first Learning Disability Admiral Nurse Jane Nickels will be working with Dementia UK, MacIntyre and people supported by MacIntyre who have a diagnosis or a suspected diagnosis of dementia, providing expert guidance and one-to-one support for people and their families.
Speaking about her new role, Jane Nickels said:
“We are focusing on the people supported by MacIntyre who have a diagnosis of dementia, or a suspected diagnosis. This means speaking to the people supported by MacIntyre 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, help people to know what to look for and provide a link to relevant professionals too.”
Since the award-winning MacIntyre Dementia Project came to close in 2018, MacIntyre has continued to provide essential exposure and education on learning disabilities and dementia 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 a success the MacIntyre Dementia Project was and the legacy that continues. I feel really honoured and proud to support this new chapter.”
If you would like to find out more about MacIntyre, visit www.macintyrecharity.org
If you would like to find out more about Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses, please visit www.dementiauk.org