At Heart of Kent Hospice we provide award-winning specialist dementia support services for patients and their families living with dementia.
We recognise that seeing people early in their diagnosis means that we can help them live well and independently for as long as they can.
Whatever your diagnosis and the stage of your illness, our Dementia Nurse Specialists offer empathetic care and support for you and your family both over the telephone and via video consultations, and essential home visits. They will liaise with your GP, Memory Clinic and Admiral Nurse to ensure that you have the precise care you need, and can also direct you to other local services that may help.
Our Dementia Nurse Specialists can give advice on symptom control, medicine management and planning for the future, but also support your carers with information on managing challenging behaviour, nutrition and keeping you safe.
In addition, all of our staff and volunteers on our Inpatient Unit are trained specifically in caring for people with dementia. So should you come into the Hospice as an inpatient, we will take good care of you and help you to feel safe and comfortable.
Our 10 inpatient rooms can be converted into a dementia friendly environment with our bespoke dementia kits. The kits include signage for the rooms and ensuite bathrooms, clocks displaying the time, day, month and year, and alarm equipment so colleagues are alerted if someone leaves their bed or room.
We are currently caring for 346 people with a primary diagnosis of dementia. That’s 38% of all the patients under our care.
How can I be referred?
You can be referred by your GP or district nurse, by your local hospital or any health or social care professional involved in your care and support. They can refer you by following the details on the How to refer a patient page.
You can also be referred by your care home manager or community warden and by other charities such as Age UK, Crossroads or the Alzheimer’s Society. In addition, you can refer yourself, or a friend or family member can do it on your behalf. All you have to do is call our Hospice Community Team on 01622 792200.
What happens next?
If the referral has come from a health or social care professional or organisation, we will make contact with a family member to let them know we have received your referral. Some people may be surprised to be contacted by a hospice, so we reassure them that we are here to support them and to offer expert advice and guidance. It is during this telephone call that we will arrange a home visit for an assessment of your physical, cognitive, social, financial and environmental situation. We’ll also undertake a carer’s assessment and repeat both intermittently so that we can adapt our care to your needs.
Following the initial assessment, we can agree a care plan which may include referrals to other services offering additional support. If you don’t need our services there and then, you will remain registered with us and can telephone at any time for support and advice. If anything changes, we are able to arrange follow up home visits and assessments if required.