As some unpaid carers aged 16+ are now being invited to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (those in priority group six) we appreciate you may have questions and concerns and so we have put together some information, although we are waiting for further details and will update the website and our social media accounts when we know more.
We host a team of experienced dementia nurses called Admiral Nurses in partnership with Dementia UK. When things get challenging or difficult, our nurses work alongside the family carers of people with all types of dementia giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions.
The unique dementia expertise and experience an Admiral Nurse brings is a lifeline–it helps families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear.
How can an Admiral Nurse help me?
• If communication gets hard, we’re on hand with skills and techniques to help you stay connected to the person you love.
• If the person you care for with dementia is showing signs of fear or distress, we’ll work with you to find the best ways of preventing or managing this.
• If your family is struggling to cope, we’ll be there to help you get your loved one the best possible additional care and support.
• If you have questions you can’t get answered we’ll take the time to really understand the problem and give you the expert support you need to tackle it.
How can I access support from an Admiral Nurse?
The main way is to contact HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044. Our Carer Support Advisors may also refer you to the team if they support you.
There is a national Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 that is open from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 5pm during the weekend. You can also send an email to and to learn more visit www.dementiauk.org/get-support/admiral-nursing/
Hertswise delivers a range of services for people in Hertfordshire living with dementia, low level memory loss or mild cognitive impairment (with or without a diagnosis), and their family and carers. It is delivered by Age UK Hertfordshire in partnership with organisations including us.
We host a Carers Support Locality Worker as part of the Hertswise service (visit the Hertswise website for more information.) Vicky Kelly is currently in this role and she runs support groups for people caring for someone with dementia. These are delivered in community venues or online via Zoom when they cannot meet in person, like during the coronavirus pandemic. We also offer one to one emotional support over the phone for carers who need extra support or don't wish to join the groups or are unable to.
You can find out more about the groups by calling us on 01992 58 69 69 or at www.hertswise.org.uk/carers-support-groups/
To access the services call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 or contact us.
It is important that decision makers know what carers think. Together with carers, we can influence decisions at a local, county and national level and make positive change for all carers.
Through our Carers Involvement Service, we can:
• Enable you to meet other carers at activities such as our Dementia Carers’ Forums. The Forums are held regularly – either online via Zoom or in venues in Hertfordshire - as appropriate. They provide an opportunity to share information, raise concerns and hear from and talk to people from health, social care and community organisations that plan or provide local services.
• Provide opportunities where you can represent carers’ views at external events and meetings. Carers views are fed into Hertfordshire's Dementia Co-production Board, you can find out more about it on Hertfordshire County Council's website.
• Share information about consultations, services and other relevant issues, via newsletters, emails and post. We produce two newsletters a year aimed at people providing unpaid care to someone with dementia and the latest one - Dementia Carers' Newsletter (Spring & Summer 2020) is available via this link - Dementia Carers' Newsletter Spring & Summer 2020.
Our Carer Involvement and Development Workers can receive your views and thoughts in person, over the phone, by email or post; whichever way you prefer. Get in touch by calling 01992 58 69 69 or emailing . Sally Stratford is our Carers Involvement and Development Worker for carers supporting someone aged over 65 or who has dementia.
You can find out more about our Involvement Work in the Have Your Say section of our website - www.carersinherts.org.uk/have-your-say/dementia
Our services are free to unpaid carers and carers should not be charged to attend Hertswise groups and activities. People with dementia who access Hertswise services such as their Dementia Hubs may be asked for a contribution for each session.
We have joined forces with unpaid family and friend carers to campaign for unpaid carers to get the same priority for the COVID-19 vaccine as paid health and care workers and you can get involved too by signing a petition.
We'd like to wish you season's greetings. If you would like information or support related to your caring role over the festive period we are there to help if you need us. Our Carer Support Advisors are working as usual Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays) and despite the recent Government announcements we have some light-hearted activities planned on Zoom - a trivial pursuits quiz on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, a yoga taster (29th December), and carer catch ups on various days, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Residents in part of St Albans are brightening up their neighbourhood and raising money for us by unveiling festive-themed window displays each day until 24th December as part of a living advent calendar.
We put the spotlight on unpaid family and friend carers and caring on Carers Rights Day (26th November 2020) and held a range of events online to give carers the chance to find out about their rights and financial support, take part in an art workshop, and even lobby MPs and representatives from Hertfordshire County Council and the NHS for improved services and assistance.
We have set up some relaxed coffee break style sessions for unpaid carers to join in with online via Zoom so they can have a chat with other carers over a drink and need not feel alone. New dates have been added to March 2021.
With the current coronavirus lockdown and Carers Rights Day approaching (Thursday 26th November 2020) we are reaching out to unpaid carers to ensure they are identified, supported and aware of their rights.