Dementia Action Week is an annual event run by the Alzheimer’s Society which aims to unite individuals, workplaces and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia.
In the UK someone is diagnosed with Dementia every 3 minutes. One in six people over the age of 80 has dementia in the UK according to the Alzheimer’s Society. The numbers are expected to rise to more than one million by 2025 and two million by 2051. The charity says 225,000 will develop dementia this year. It stands to reason that every single one of us will know someone affected by the disease. You may have relatives, friends, colleagues or neighbours who are living with dementia, and who want to continue to live a rich and fulfilling life. Despite the high number of people diagnosed with Dementia, many people living with the disease report feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Initiatives like Dementia Action Week aim to ensure that everyone in our communities works together to ensure that people living with Dementia can continue to lead contented and supported lives free from loneliness and isolation.
The staff at the Museum and Visitor Information Centre all want to play their part in ensuring that people living with Dementia feel welcomed and supported when they visit. We will all be undertaking Dementia Awareness training via the Alzheimer’s Society and intend to become Dementia Friends. Additionally, we will be organising an information stand in our shop and reception. If you wish to become a Dementia Friend please use this website to find a training session near you, https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/.
Local Events and Activities this Dementia Action Week
The Capitol currently host regular Dementia Friendly events and screenings, including a screening of Rocket Man on 24 May at 11am, https://thecapitolhorsham.com/whats-on/all-shows/dementia-friendly-screening-rocketman-15/15250.
Various groups and business around Horsham District are hosting events for Dementia Action Week, many of which are listed below:
- Garden Party and Cream Tea at Warnham Park, Saturday 18th May 2019 from 2pm to 4pm
- Horsham Library Dementia Information Drop In, Monday May 20th from 10.30am to 1pm
- Weald & Downland Museum Dementia Friendly Day, Monday May 20th
- Horsham Carers Support Group Cream Tea at New House Farm, Strawberry Fields Tea Room, Tuesday May 21st from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
- Hurstpierpoint Library Dementia Information Drop In, Tuesday May 21st from 10.30am to 1pm
- Littlehampton Library Dementia Information Drop In, Wednesday 22nd May from 10.30am to 1pm
- Horsham Activity Group Indoor Bowls – Horsham Indoor Bowling Club in Broadbridge Heath, Thursday 23rd May 10.30am – 2pm
Various venues around West Sussex will be hosting performances of Connie’s Colander – a play by Gaye Poole. Connie is a retired domestic science teacher. Emily, her daughter, is enjoying hosting her first TV cookery show, Connie’s Colander, bringing her mother’s recipes onscreen and up to date. Sensitively, with humour and tenderness, this newly written play traces the evolving relationship throughout their lives and the impact of Connie’s Alzheimer’s. Can their relationship, and the TV show, survive? Tickets to the performances are free, and more information can be found at individual venue’s websites. Some of the venues are listed below:
- Haywards Heath Library – Monday 20 May, 3.00pm
- Crawley Library – Tuesday 21 May, 3.00pm
- Littlehampton Library – Wednesday 22 May, 7.30pm
- Petworth Library – Thursday 23 May, 7.30pm
- Bognor Regis Library – Friday 24 May, 2.00pm
- Witterings Library – Friday 24 May, 7.30pm
You may have seen Our Dementia Choir hosted by Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure on television recently. Studies are beginning to show that music has a special power to unlock and reach parts of the brain that might be damaged by diseases such as Dementia. According to Dementia UK “music accesses different parts of the brain than language, so music can be used to communicate or engage with someone who has been diagnosed with dementia, even if they no longer speak or respond to other people’s words.” Listening to music, and taking part in musical activities can boost the wellbeing of people living with Dementia as music is known to trigger emotions and memories connected to important past experiences.
Within West Sussex there are a number of Dementia friendly music groups, for example Chichester Festival Theatre run dementia friendly group singing sessions lead by experienced teachers. The sessions run on Fridays from 3 May to 12 July, 11am-12pm and more information can be found here, https://www.cft.org.uk/whats-on/event/mind-body-sing.
Singing for the Soul is a Dementia Friendly Community Singing Group for the over 50s who meet Monday afternoons in Tangmere to sing, chat and make new friends, https://www.sussexlocal.net/event/singing-for-the-soul-2/all/.
Information and Support
If you want to know more about Dementia, or how to support someone living with the disease, the Alzheimer’s Society website is the perfect place to start.
They have a large number of factsheets and publications that address the vast majority of questions and concerns that people may have. The factsheets can be accessed at this web address, https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list. The website also has a useful section where you can find support and services near to you, https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you.
The Alzheimer’s Society has a dedicated Sussex helpline. Trained Advisors are available Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm to discuss any of your concerns about all forms of dementia. The Sussex Helpline provides information on:
- Understanding dementia
- How to get help locally
- Maintaining independence
- Financial and legal matters
- Caring for people with dementia
- Community care
- Long-stay care
Call the Sussex Helpline on 01403 213017 or email to If you, or someone you know, needs information and support you can also contact the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.
Other local support services can be found below: