Meet our Local Admiral Nurse Jacqueline Crowther

Jacqueline has many years of experience working with people living with dementia and their carers. Having previously worked with other hospices to develop hospice enabled dementia care, her current role at Kirkwood Hospice consists of improving end of life care and end of life care experiences for people with dementia and their carers in Kirklees.

As we are a Dementia Friendly firm of solicitors, we invited Jacqueline to our staff conference at Ridley & Hall during which she was able to answer many of our staff’s questions.

What services do you offer to people with dementia?Jacqueline Crowther

 The services offered at Kirkwood Hospice include:

  • Advice on appropriate services to access
  • Advance Care Planning (ACP)
  • Training and education to hospice staff and volunteers and different local organisations
  • Advice and consultancy to different organisations on dementia and end of life care in dementia
  • Dementia Friends awareness sessions, advice on advanced dementia (signs, symptoms,  management strategies)
  • Access to specialist palliative care services
  • Development of dementia focused services at Kirkwood

Do people with dementia require the help of a dementia trained solicitor to help them make life decisions such as a lasting power of attorney?

Yes, altered communication skills and fluctuating levels of capacity make it difficult for people with dementia to contribute to decision making in complicated matters. The knowledge and skills of solicitors specifically trained and interested in this area is therefore welcomed and valuable.

What are the major obstacles the hospice is facing?

Not many professionals and organisations supporting people with dementia and their carers recognise the dying phase. There should be more education and training around this area and joint working including other professionals acknowledging their role in end of life care (not necessarily dementia alone). Furthermore, there is a lack of access to specialist services.

How would you describe your experience as an Admiral Nurse?

“As an Admiral Nurse with a specific focus on end of life care for people with dementia, the experience is positive and occasionally frustrating! I feel very privileged to be able to help and support people living with dementia and their carers at a difficult time. Memories of how people die live on in those who are left behind and it is important to create positive memories of this time wherever possible. Sharing my knowledge, skills and expertise with colleagues and other professionals in an attempt to help them grow and develop in order for them to be able to support people with dementia and their family carers as end of life approaches is also a positive experience.”