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Posted on Apr 21 2022 by Fiona Bailey

A Nurse Manager from the Older Adults Service in Birmingham has pledged his commitment to his patients stating “we are their support in darker years”.

Damien Crossman, who is based on the low secure ward Moor Green, insists treating and caring for the older generation can be problematic if not managed correctly.

He said: “We have added challenges with the age because illness, physical illness will play a part in their physical frailty.”

Damien says that for a lot of patients it can be hard being separated from their friends and family, so St Andrew’s Healthcare staff play a big part in their lives.

“As life continues for all of us, we lose friends, we lose family, and often some of our older adults are on their own, I suppose, and that gives us an extra bit of responsibility. We are their support in darker years.”

Speaking in the last Service Spotlight video, Damien explained how his team manage the physical and mobility needs of the people they support.

He said: “We've recently had to change several of the bedrooms. The taps had to become sensor led because people have become feeble in the stage that they couldn't turn on the tap, they couldn't push a button, so they had to use wipe motion to get those taps going. Everything has to be safe for a wheelchair but also within a homely environment.  

“My men also like having a garden which is positive as it's an interest, and nature in itself is a very healing thing, so that's helpful.The downside to that is gardening can be quite dangerous and quite tricky. So at the moment, we're working with estates and we're hoping to get raised flower beds for next spring so that we can actively support our patients working there.”

Damien also highlighted the best parts of his job which he says he loves due to its “interactivity”.

He added: “It's getting to know people, getting to know thoughts, getting to know fears and being a comfortable ear. Within mental health all those things are terribly important because sometimes people just want to say something, not necessarily want anything further than that, and as long as they know they're heard, you have given comfort.”

To watch Damien’s interview in full, click here.