A specialist dementia nurse service has been established in West Berkshire with special expertise in younger patients with the condition.
Rikki Lorenti, an experienced mental health nurse from Oxford, has successfully been appointed as the first Admiral Nurse to cover Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire.
He is also the first Admiral Nurse in the country to specialise in supporting younger people with dementia and their family carers.
People diagnosed with dementia under the age of 65 are often described as “younger people with dementia” and there are currently over 17,000 people in the UK living with the condition, of which 240 are known to be in the West Berkshire area.
Mr Lorenti said: “While the symptoms of dementia in younger people may be the same as in older people, there can be particular adjustments and challenges faced by families affected by early onset dementia.
“This can include the loss of employment and significant financial hardships as well as emotional and psychological issues, as the family, which may still include dependent children, struggle to cope with the diagnosis,” he said.
“This is a unique and exciting role and I will be using my skills and expertise to provide specialist support and guidance to help these families to live well with dementia,” he added.
Mr Lorenti has been appointed for West Berkshire in a partnership between Dementia UK, which runs Admiral Nurses, and local charity Younger People with Dementia.
Funding for the appointment has been awarded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthConfirm through the Health Lottery.