THE Black Country will benefit from the Royal British Legion's bid to increase their ranks of Admiral Nurses.

The specialist nurses provide support for carers and families of former armed forces personal who are now suffering with dementia.

Currently operating in Lancashire and the West Midlands, the RBL plan to expand the scheme nationwide.

Their objective is to give dementia patients a better quality of life while providing both carers and families with the practical support and advice they need.

Maureen Lowe from Wollaston, received a helping hand after her husband Lewis, aged 82, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2009.

By the time Admiral Nurses became involved, Lewis had deteriorated to the point where he barely recognised his wife and had begun wandering the streets.

Maureen, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, had found it difficult to look after her husband, both emotionally and physically.

Their daughter, Jane Powell, described the nurses as a "godsend" and added: "My father did National Service, which meant we were eligible for the legion's support. They helped us at the right time when we were sinking fast and not knowing what to do.

"They helped us to arrange appointments and lent a sympathetic ear. They were a breath of fresh air during a very difficult time before he was ultimately taken into hospital under a section of the Mental Health Act."

Although the service has only been operating for a year, the Admiral Nurses have already helped almost 150 people.

The service is available to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present.

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