A specialist dementia nurse who has served Kenilworth and its surrounding villages since 2016 is set to leave in February next year after funding for her job ran out.
Louise Gillard-Owen, an Admiral Nurse, has provided practical and emotional support to families and carers with relatives and loved ones living with dementia.
Her work was funded by the Waverley Day Centre in partnership with charity Dementia UK from February 2016 to January 2018, with the hope that her services would then encourage other organisations with more money to continue to fund her services.
Although groups such as the Kenilworth Lions and the town council helped keep her for another year, without further funding she will leave her role in February 2019.
Letters were sent out to those affected on Friday November 23.
One person who will be heavily affected is 83-year-old Trevor Doyle, who cares full time for his 85-year-old wife Jean in their Burton Green home. Jean was diagnosed with dementia in May 2017, and also has Meniere’s disease which affects her balance.
Trevor said Louise’s help was so important to him, and her departure would be very difficult to deal with.
He said: “The single most important person that’s visited Jean and I has been the lovely Louise. She is such a special lady.
“She told us when she came to see us last week that she was being made redundant, which was devastating.”
One example of Louise’s help was when she managed to get a safety rail installed for Jean outside their home after persistently contacting Warwickshire County Council. Trevor had tried himself, but had no success.
He said: “When you get to our age, it’s a lot more difficult to deal with bureaucracy. Louise would pick up the phone and rang up the right people, and she didn’t mince her words with them.
“It’s hard work when you’ve been married 62 years and your wife doesn’t know what day of the week it is. But having someone like Louise has kept us on track.”
Another woman who will miss Louise is Carol Perry, of Ashfield Road. She looks after her 79-year-old husband Clive, who has dementia.
Carol said: "She's just so wonderful. The support she's given to me is incredible.
"When I've been angry and have just lost all hope, she's given me reasons to carry on and helps me to make sense of the situation.
"It's so tragic that she won't be there anymore."
Chair of trustees at Waverley Day Centre David Lansdowne was ‘extremely disappointed’ by the news, and praised Louise’s work.
He said: “She’s done a fantastic job. The need for an Admiral Nurse is clear.
“There’s a lot of older people in Kenilworth and dementia is becoming a bigger issue than anything else.”
Paul Edwards, director of clinical services at Dementia UK, said: “We are sad and disappointed to see the closure of the Kenilworth Admiral Nurse service.
“Each Admiral Nurse service in the UK is a partnership between Dementia UK and a host organisation, as we do not have the financial resources to employ community nurses directly.
“Our mission is to provide specialist dementia nursing support to every family that needs it, and so we will actively seek other partnership options to continue supporting families in Kenilworth.”