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UHMBT Dementia Matron offers advice sessions in the community in Lancaster

11 February 2020

People affected by dementia can now make use of friendly advice sessions with the Dementia Matron for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

Dianne Smith has started running her ‘Matron’s Surgery’ once a month at the Defying Dementia fundraising shop on Church Street in Lancaster.

Dianne Smith, Dementia Matron.pngDianne said: “I could see the need for it so I decided to start offering sessions in the community for family members, carers, people with dementia and anyone else who needs help.

“When I was at the Bay Dementia Hub I found that people kept coming up to me and asking for advice. Sometimes, I would get quite a long queue of people waiting to speak to me.

“They wanted to talk things through and many didn’t know what they needed from service providers. My Matron’s surgery offers people a quiet time where people can talk about their situation. It’s for people who normally come to the Bay Dementia Hub but who aren’t sure what help they need. I’ve done a couple of Matron’s Surgeries and they have been very well received so far.

Dr Penny Foulds from Defying Dementia and the Bay Dementia Hub in Lancaster with Matron Dianne Smith

“Dementia is a journey so people keep coming back for advice and information. I can direct people to other services that can help them. For example, a woman came to see me because her husband was in denial that he had dementia and she didn’t know how to talk to him about it.

“I helped the women to manage the situation and explained how to ensure his safety. I also explained how she could help to calm her husband down and gave her hints and tips on diet and getting enough fluids. Basically, I can help people to cope with situation when someone has dementia. Day to day living can be a challenge but I can help.”

Dianne said people had told her they’d found the Matron’s surgery very helpful and they were glad that someone was listening to them.

Anyone who would like to arrange to meet Dianne for the Matron’s surgery can do so by popping in to the Defying Dementia shop at 50, Church Street in Lancaster or calling: 01524 846 210. Dianne is hosting surgeries from 2pm to 4pm on February 13, March 19, April 16, May 14 and June 18.

The Bay Information Hub and Café run by Dr Penny Foulds and Matron Dianne Smith can also help people affected by dementia. The hub is a friendly place where people with a diagnosis of dementia, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease (MND) or other neurodegenerative conditions can receive help and guidance.

The hub meets on the first Friday of every month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Trimpell Sports and Social Club on Out Moss Lane, LA4 4UP, Morecambe, or the Cathedral Social Centre on Balmoral Road, LA1 3BT, Lancaster. For more information on the hub go to www.thebaydementiahub.org or Facebook: facebook.com/TheBayDementiaHub or Twitter: @BayDementiaHub