Jean Kelly - Patient Relative

"We were late becoming part of the Admiral Nurse Team at Hospice, but the 8 weeks spent with them was so worthwhile, Ray loved it, loved the company.”

 Jean Ray Kelly Photo

“My husband, Ray was Principal Officer at Victoria Road Prison until retirement age, he then worked for 10 years for Lawrence Keenan Advocates as Search Clerk. Both jobs he loved and equally challenging.

I worked all my life for IOM Health Services from Cadet Nurse age 16 to Retirement at 60 as Senior Nurse Manager. I encompassed every TT as Sister of the Orthopaedic Ward, travelled the UK and Germany in Flight transfer of patients and finished my career as one of 3 Night Managers in charge of the hospital half the time it was open.

At night, patients with dementia related problems were always a problem and a challenge for the nurses with 20 patients to care for but always 1 or 2 needing far more input of care because they were "out with" their familiar surroundings. I truly loved being involved with dementia patients, so easy to build a rapport with a cup of tea and chat, something the nursing staff couldn't always find the time to do.

So here we are 15 years into Retirement and dealing with Ray and Mixed Dementia. He got a diagnosis 3 years ago, but it's taken until now to become established into "systematic" routine.

We have coped by my complete and open honesty with Ray about what is happening to him, we laugh about "there's a fault in the set" we laugh when I find the sugar in the fridge and milk in the cupboard, I'm used to a two way conversation between myself and me! Because I'm now adept at second guessing what Ray is trying to say.

We were late becoming part of the Admiral Nurse Team at Hospice. It would have been helpful to have a slow build up, however the 8 weeks spent with them was so worthwhile, Ray loved it, loved the company. I was so impressed by Jeanette and her small team of staff and volunteers. I found going over ground I already knew quite cathartic in a way, I was pleasantly wrecked after 8 weeks.

As a Nurse things you are aware of to enable you to help people mean absolutely nothing when it comes down to caring for your own. Ray is calm and compliant, his physical health isn't the best but adaptions in our home mean he will continue to be cared for as long as I am able. We have covered all the legal ground needed, we have a tremendously supportive GP and have discussed and decided DNR status.

For now our journey continues, 50 years married February this year is an achievement we are extremely proud of. We laugh daily (I often cry) but every days an adventure and trust me over 50 years we have had plenty of those and happy to share memories with our 2 sons and 3 very precious Grandchildren

We look forward to continuing contact and support from the Admiral Nurses as well as OPMHS with whom we are also now involved.”

Back to top image