John Suchet, Honorary President of Dementia UK, launched the Admiral Nurse Academy in honour of Bonnie Suchet during his plenary address at an international dementia care conference in Canterbury on Wednesday 26 May 2010.
Last year, in February 2009, he went public about the fact that his wife Bonnie had been diagnosed with dementia three years earlier. And since then, he has had to face the personal anguish of placing Bonnie into full-time care. John Suchet is one of a rare breed, a dignified celebrity with an amazing ability to engage his audience as he shares his personal pain. Anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to be supported by an Admiral Nurse – and they are very thin on the ground at present – knows that the world of dementia needs more people like Ian Weatherhead, who was the specialist nurse working with John and Bonnie Suchet.
The Admiral Nurse Academy website will provide an on-line resource for Admiral Nurses already in post, supporting their continuing professional development, sharing best practice, disseminating research findings, developing professional portfolios and fulfilling personal development plans. In addition, the website is for nurses wishing to become Admiral Nurses and Commissioners looking to develop new Admiral Nurse services.
Suchet’s new book, My Bonnie: How Dementia Stole The Love Of My Life, is part of the grieving process that the relatives and friends of dementia sufferers experience when dementia enters their world.
“It’s the little things that break you up.” It’s the little things that can change the world, John!