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Long Stratton woman's pledge to launch mobile dementia service




A Long Stratton woman has pledged to set up a mobile dementia support van after being inspired by the care her mother received at hospital.

Annie Flaherty, who had vascular dementia, was a much-loved mother, wife and grandmother, as well as being a highly skilled theatre nurse and talented dancer.

The 77-year-old spent the last two weeks of her life at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and received support from the dementia support team, nursing staff and palliative care before her death on January 22.

Nicola King and her husband Andrew, holding a picture of her parents George and Annie Flaherty. Picture by Mark Bullimore.
Nicola King and her husband Andrew, holding a picture of her parents George and Annie Flaherty. Picture by Mark Bullimore.

Her daughter, Nicola King, said their experience of the NHS was “amazing” from the first responders to the A&E staff and ward staff at NNUH who looked after her mum.

“We found the standard of care on the ward, and the kindness and empathy of staff, to be exceptional,” said Mrs King, 53.

“From the moment mum was admitted, she got her identity back; she was Annie again. They saw past the illness she had and they just saw her.”

Nicola’s mum, the late Annie Flaherty, inspired her to set up a mobile dementia support.
Nicola’s mum, the late Annie Flaherty, inspired her to set up a mobile dementia support.

Nicola, whose parents both had dementia, said she wanted to give something back by establishing a mobile carers’ information service – “the Annie van” – and has started fundraising to help more families affected.

She said she would never forget the care her mum received on the Langley ward and from the dementia support team who tailored activities to Annie’s interests.

“We were always treated with respect and understanding. The staff were exactly the kind of people that my mum would have wanted to care for her. Everyone deserves the help and care from a dementia team like the one there,” said Mrs King.

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“It was the continuity of care that impressed us – they were never too busy and nothing was ever too much trouble. They were truly amazing and there are no words to describe how much it helped us and my mum.”



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