Miriam Coyle

Miriam Coyle

Tell us a little about yourself

I live on the South Coast with my husband and 2 of our 4 children, and our cat Frodo. The older two are married and left home, I am thrilled to have 3 lovely grandchildren, who unfortunately live too far away, but Queensland is a great state to visit. I like music, movies (old ones and comedies) and cooking, I always seem to be behind on the house cleaning!

Tell us a bit about your work background

I have a background in residential and community aged care nursing. I have specialised in dementia care for sometime now, with roles in case management, the Dementia Advisory Service and now Acute Dementia Delirium Clinical Nurse Consultant. I have found the work very rewarding and feel privileged to work with those affected by, or interested in dementia. It is really interesting work too, so I have found I continue to study and have gained a Masters of Science (Dementia Care) and I am now undertaking my own research project as a Masters of Nursing (Research) student.

What is your current role? Acute Dementia Delirium Clinical Nurse Consultant in the Illawarrra Shoalhaven Local Health District

How long have you worked in this position?  Two years.

How long have you been a facilitator of the DementiaCare program? I have just started, and am buddying up with an experienced facilitator – which is most comforting (for me and the students!!)

How do you think you can make a difference to those with dementia and their carers? Breaking down stereotypes and taking the time to listen to the individual makes a huge difference. There is a lot of misunderstanding about dementia in the community and among health workers, more knowledge brings more understanding. Supporting workers and carers, and the person with dementia has been fundamental to my practice, recognising who is at the centre of the care partnerships, the person with dementia and protecting their personhood.

Would you recommend others do the training and facilitate too? Yes, it seems to be well supported and organised and the learning is excellent.

Anything else you would like to share with us? Thanks to the patience and support of all involved in this course – I think working in this field means there are a lot of people who have truly learnt to be flexible, creative and person-centred. Which means they are a pleasure to work with!