Dementia Action Week 2018

From 21-27 May, we're encouraging everyone to take action and help improve the lives of people living with dementia.

Become a dementia friend today

Take action and support people living with dementia.




Actions speak louder than words.

And it's action we want you to take to improve the lives of people living with dementia through a simple act of kindness.

The newly-named Dementia Action Week takes place from 21 to 27 May 2018.

We’re encouraging anyone concerned about dementia to confront their worries by contacting Alzheimer's Society for information and support or to contact their GP.

There are plenty of ways you can show your support and get involved.

We’re asking every member of staff at the county council to become a Dementia Friend and it couldn’t be easier for you to become one too.

Find out how you could make a difference as a Dementia Friend at the tab above.

You can also find out about a number of events being held across the county by visiting the 'Events' tab.

If you would like to learn more about dementia, go to the ‘Dementia Learning Resource’ tab which will direct you to more information.

What is dementia?

Dementia is actually a group of symptoms, rather than a single disease. It refers to difficulties with thinking and memory.

It is caused by damage to the brain and is typically regarded as long-standing or progressive; disturbance of a number of brain functions, such as memory, thinking, language and calculation; and reduced ability to perform day-to-day activities.

These changes are often small to start with, but can become severe enough to affect daily life.

But we believe life doesn't end when dementia begins.

More information about dementia can be found here:

A number of dementia forums are held around West Sussex which raise awareness of dementia within the community.
For details, please email  



Alzheimer's Society and local Dementia Action Alliances are holding events throughout May in the lead up to and during Dementia Action Week:

Wednesday 16 May - Live Well Worthing Day
Worthing Leisure Centre
12 noon to 4pm

  • Dementia-friendly activities throughout the afternoon. Free taster sessions including yoga, pilates, table tennis, barre fusion, walking football and showtime dance.
  • Worthing Wellbeing, Prevention Assessment Team and Audiology Testing will be attending on the day.

Sunday 20 May - Garden Party and Cream Tea
Warnham Park, near Horsham
, organised by Alzheimer's Society
2pm to 4pm

  • Bake off, raffle, lawn games and museum tour
  • Live music from Tideway and Harry Fairbrother

Monday 21 May - Horsham Library dementia awareness drop-in
10.30 to 1pm
organised by Alzheimer's Society

Care Mill UK View coffee morning, organised by East Grinstead Dementia Action Alliance
10am to 12 noon

Tea and Tech at Tangmere
Dementia Support, Tangmere Hub, organised by Alzheimer's Society Chichester and Bognor Positive Thinkers
11am to 1pm

Tuesday 22 May - Open-top bus ride, organised by Worthing Dementia Action Alliance
9.30am to 5pm, South Street Square

  • Vintage 1960s Open Top Double Decker bus
  • Bus timetable: 10am bus rides for Worthing Town Criers and other passengers travelling to Abbeyfield in Ferring
  • Bus to return to South Street Square at 11.30/12 noon
  • Bus leaves South Street Square at 1pm to pick up Centre Club members from Alzheimer's Society, Stone Lane
  • Returns to Stone Lane around 3-3.30pm before arriving at South Street Square

For more details, visit

Horsham Carers Support Group event
,organised by Alzheimer's Society
2.30pm-4.30pm, New House Farm

  • Cream Tea priced at £4.30 and entertainment provided by Tommy Parsons

Hurstpierpoint Library Dementia Awareness Drop-in
organised by Alzheimer's Society
10.30am to 1pm

Carers Support West Sussex event at Haywards Heath
10am to 4pm
, Princess Royal Hospital

  • Information stand available in the reception area

Wilko Horsham store 
awareness and fundraising event
12 noon to 2pm

Wednesday 23 May - Sainsbury's stores at East Grinstead, Crawley, Horsham, Pulborough, Chichester and more
12 noon to 2pm

  • 'United against Dementia' information sessions in stores' foyer

Fernhurst Community Centre
7pm to 8.30pm

  • Dementia Friends information session - 7pm to 8pm
  • Information sessions provided by a Dementia Support Worker and Dementia Advisor from 8pm to 8.30pm

Thursday 24 May - 'Living Well Day' at Crawley K2, organised by Crawley Dementia Action Alliance
12.30pm to 4.30pm

  • Dementia-friendly swimming from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
  • Free taster sessions for many different  activities
  • Entertainment from Elvis impersonator 

Cafe Nero coffee morning, East Grinstead, organised by East Grinstead Dementia Action Alliance 
10am to 12 noon

Arun District Dementia-friendly Community Launch
2pm to 5pm, Littlehampton Civic Hall

  • Wellbeing Workshop from 4.15 to 5pm

Dementia Conference hosted by Burgess Hill Dementia Action Alliance including a 'Virtual Dementia Tour'
10am to 2pm, Martletts Hall

  • The Burgess Hill Action Week Dementia Conference is being opened by actress Judy Parfitt

Friday 25 May - *Horsham Rusty Brains at Brighton Road Baptist Church
invite only)

2pm to 4pm

  • Special guests include: Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health plus Colleen Sutton, Team Leader for the Memory Assessment Service in the north of the county

Melody for the Mind singing group held at Southwick Library 
10.30am to 11.30am 

Tuesday 29 May - National Garden Scheme Party at Aldsworth House
2pm to 5pm

  • Dementia-friendly garden afternoon - entry is £2.50 including a cream tea

Dementia Learning Resource

Dementia Learning Resource

This Dementia Action Week it couldn’t be easier to learn more about the condition.

Visit the online Dementia Learning resource and discover free information and support about dementia.

You will be signposted to videos, online learning and workbooks.

There are also links to courses and workshops that can support learning. Please be aware, however, that there may be a charge for attending some of these.

The resource has been developed in partnership with representatives from Clinical Commissioning Groups, Alzheimer’s Society, Carers Support West Sussex, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Skills for Care and providers of residential care, care at home and day services.

We aim to ensure the online resource provides up to date information and learning about dementia care. If you have any feedback on the content, please let us know by filling out the comments box.

Become a Dementia Friend

Become a Dementia Friend

A Dementia Friend is someone who learns about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action.

This is part of an initiative led by Alzheimer’s Society that aims to raise awareness of the condition among the general public.

Become a Dementia Friend by registering online or attend the following information session:

  • Tuesday 22 May - Hurstpierpoint Library from 1pm to 2.15pm. Book a place at  or call the library on 01243 642110.
  • Tuesday 22 May - Fernhurst Community Centre from 7pm to 8pm. Book a place at or call the centre on 01428 641931.
  • Thursday 24 May - Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton from 3.15pm to 4.15pm. Book a place at or call the centre on 01903 737500.

Our libraries are also hosting two dementia awareness drop-in sessions to offer support to people living with dementia and their carers, family and friends during Dementia Action Week:

  • Monday 21 May - Horsham Library from 10.30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday 22 May - Hurstpierpoint Library from 10.30am to 1pm



Five facts about dementia

Five facts about dementia

Get the facts and dispel some myths with these five facts about dementia.


1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing

It's true that dementia is more common among over-65s, and some of us do become more forgetful as we get older or during times of stress or illness. But dementia is a different sort of forgetfulness. Your memory loss will be more noticeable, and may be accompanied by mood changes and confusion. It's important to ask your GP to check out any unusual symptoms as these can sometimes be treated with appropriate medication. 

2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain

Dementia is the name for a collection of symptoms that include memory loss, mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning. These symptoms are brought about by a number of diseases that cause changes in the brain. The most common of these is Alzheimer's disease, which changes the chemistry and structure of the brain causing the brain cells to die. Other types of dementia include vascular disease and Pick's disease.

3. It's not just about losing your memory

People often think of dementia as a form of memory loss. And usually it does start by affecting people's short-term memory. But it's more than that - it can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave. Dementia makes it harder to communicate and do everyday things, but there is a lot that can be done to help. Every year we understand more about dementia, and develop new strategies that can help to boost someone's confidence and maintain their independence for as long as possible.

4. It's possible to live well with dementia

Most of us have an image in our mind of what life with dementia looks like. That image is often very bleak. So it can be very surprising to learn that many people with dementia continue to drive, socialise and hold down satisfying jobs. Even as dementia progresses, many people lead active, healthy lives, continue their hobbies, and enjoy loving friendships and relationships. Of course dementia does make it harder to do certain things, but with the right knowledge and support it is possible for someone with dementia to get the very best out of life.

5. There's more to a person than the dementia

The inspirational people we work with are living proof that life doesn't end when dementia begins. When someone is diagnosed, their plans for the future might change and they may need more help and support to keep doing the things they enjoy - but dementia doesn't change who they are.

If you have any concerns or are worried about your memory, please contact Alzheimer's Society's Sussex helpline by calling 01403 213017 (office opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
Alternatively, you can email 



From Monday 21 May, we will be asking all residents about their understanding of what a dementia-friendly community is. 

And for family and friends caring for someone with dementia, we want to hear about their loved ones' experiences of support received. 

Click here to complete our West Sussex dementia framework survey (from 21 May).


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