When someone is diagnosed with dementia, they need their friends & family more than ever.
By becoming a Dementia Friend, you are helping people affected by dementia to feel more understood and included in their community.
These are the five key things you should know about dementia:
- Dementia is not a natural part of the ageing process.
- Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain.
- Dementia is not just about losing your memory.
- It is possible to live well with dementia.
- There is more to the person than dementia.
Now you know this, it's important to turn your new understanding into action.
How can you help?
- Share a cuppa - A cup of tea and a chat doesn't sound like much, but popping round and spending a bit of time with your friend with dementia can help them to continue doing the things they enjoy - that's what living with dementia is all about.
- Reminiscing - Dementia often affects short-term memories more than long-term ones. Chatting to your friend with dementia about growing up, or getting an old photo album out is a great way to trigger their favorite memories.
- Environment - Dementia can sometimes affect the way a person perceives objects and their environment. For example, for someone with dementia, swirls in patterned carpets might look like snakes or dots like moving insects. It could be that a black or dark rug looks like a big hole or a shiny floor like a pool of water. Fi you notice someone who may be experiencing difficulties, see if you can help them by reassuring them that it is safe to walk over that area.
Dementia may cause your friend to behave in a way that might seem a bit out of character. If this happens, stay calm, be patient and try to understand why they may be acting that way.
- Smile - Body language is very important when you're spending time with someone who has dementia. If they are feeling confused or upset, a friendly face and a big smile can help to reassure them.
- A bit more time - People with dementia can find everyday things more difficult - whether it is in the queue at the shops, or travelling on the bus. Being a little more patient can go a long way towards making these situations easier.
- Recognition - Mirrors can sometimes be a real proble for someone with dementia - whether it's not recognising themselves or seeing something frightening in the reflection. If a mirror is causing a problem, you could take it down or cover it with photographs or pictures.
- A helping hand - Some people with dementia can experience mobility problems so taking out the bins or doing some shopping for your friend could be a huge help.
- Tune in - Music is an extremely powerful way of bringing back happy memories for people with dementia. You could create a playlist of favorite songs and listen together or tune their radio into their favorite radio station.
- Listen - Being a good listener is important to any friendship. Taking the time to listen in a way that reassures a person with dementia is one of the best ways to help. Keep eye contact, don't interrupt and be patient, this can help them feel comfortable.
- Stay in touch - People with dementia sometimes feel like they lose friends, by staying in touch you are helping them to live well.
- Support - Dementia doesn't just affect the person with the condition - it has an impact on everyone around them. Offering emotional and practical support to their family and friends can help everyone affected by the condition to live well.
Get more involved.
A great way to learn more about dementia and what it means to be a Dementia Friend is to take part in a face-to-face information session.
You can also inspire others to learn more about dementia by volunteering as a Dementia Champion.
Find out more at:
Groups & Services
Age UK East Grinstead & District:
Tel: 01342 327046
Located in Queens Road & open Monday to Friday. The centre offers a wide range of services and activities for people over the age of 50, including freshly prepared lunches and refreshments the centre offers a respite care service for people with dementia on first and third Saturdays of the month. Transport is available.
Tel: 01444 416606
The Society provides support, information and advice on all aspects of dementia, including issues with home and personal care.
Alzheimer’s Society Sussex Helpline:
Tel: 01403 213017
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group:
Tel: 01444 450248
The Group offers advice and support to carers of people with Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders. The Group acts as a support for people who have a member of their family with memory problems or mental decline.
Carer’s Emergency Alert. WSCC
Carers Support Service — North and Mid Sussex:
Tel: 0300 028 8888
Carers Support Service provides free, confidential and impartial information and support to carers in West Sussex. Carers Support Service can offer specialist support workers, support groups, emotional support services and support towards time out and relaxation for carers.
Tel: 01903 790270
Crossroads Care offers support for carers and the people they care for. Services include day & night service, emergency respite service & holiday support service.
Gages Community Lunch Deliveries:
Tel: 01342 822661
Gages Community Lunches deliver home cooked traditional meals Wednesday - Friday weekly in Forest Row & Ashurst Wood. To order please call before 11am on the day or you can order and pay in advance.
Glen Vue Community Centre:
Tel: 01342 318082
The day centre is for people with long-term or complex needs, such as dementia. It provides activities, lunch and assistance with personal care. The service also enables carers to have a break and can provide them with support, information and advice, as required.
Open Monday to Fridav (Not Weekends)
Tel: 01273 494300
Tel: 01342 327555
The surgery offers a monthly Dementia Support Clinic, which is run in conjunction with The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Support Worker.
Mill View Care Home:
Tel: 0333 9201995
Tel: 01903 790270
For people with young onset dementia. Age appropriate support with activities and outings.
NHS Sussex Community Carers Health Team:
Tel: 01243 623521
The Carers Health Team offer professional support and guidance for carers to maintain their health and wellbeing.
Personal Alarms Age UK:
Stildon Day Care - Brendon Care:
Tel: 01342 305750
Stildon offers high quality flexible day care in a warm, intimate and friendly setting. Designed to meet the social and care needs of older people with dementia in East Grinstead, it also affords their carers an occasional break.
Telecare Personal Alarms:
The Butterfly Scheme:
The Butterfly Scheme provides a system of hospital care for people living with dementia. and has now been adopted by over a hundred hospitals across the length and breadth of the UK.
Queen Victoria Hospital
Tel: 01342 414000
WSCC Specialist Day Services:
Tel: 01243 777100
www.westsussex.gov.uk/living/social care and health.aspx
Specialist day services are for people with longer terms or complex social care needs such as adults with learning disabilities or dementia. Services include support, activities and community opportunities that help adults to live as independently as they can.