Despite its prevalence, dementia is a difficult topic to talk about for many of us; this is not only due to its devastating effects but also because of how many people it affects every year. When you combine this with the effects of a global pandemic, disaster has the opportunity to strike; people with dementia accounted for a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in the UK.
Our public facilities are stretched, which is why the importance of local community groups and charities needs to be realised across the nation, and in our particular circumstance, Sussex. Certain areas of Sussex have some of the highest rates of dementia in the entire nation, including Bexhill & Battle and Worthing West. We are thankful for the tremendous work that charities and community groups have done throughout our local community to help improve the lives for people living with dementia. We would also like to thank our fund holders for making investments into the local community, thus providing a brighter future for Sussex.
Pedal People, Brighton
For many elderly people, ease of mobility can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Riding a bike is one activity that becomes harder to do as you get older, which means that many elderly people struggle to enjoy the great outdoors in the same way. Thankfully, the team at Pedal People have come up with ingenious way to address this issue.
From cycles that you can operate using your arms to assisted trishaws, this organisation has found a perfect way to help people regain a connection with the outside. Beneficiaries at Pedal People can also bring their carers or family members along to assist them on their journey.
Peter Jones and Zoe Gandey from the SCF team joined Pedal People yesterday for the launch of their new Accessible Cycle Hub base on Madeira Drive. The charity were awarded £10,000 from the Rampion Community Benefit Fund this week towards purchasing sustainable cycle batteries, staffing and training costs.
Harry Puckering, Volunteer said:
“At the new hub, we are right on a properly designed wide cycle path that interconnects with other cycle paths within the community. From here it is traffic free, so you can get all the way to Saltdean in the east and to Carats Cafe in Shoreham to the west. People using adapted bikes can engage with the community, nature and see the sights.”
Also at the launch was VIP (Very Important Passenger) David who has Lewy Body Dementia. He recently moved back to Brighton with his wife Rachel.
Rachel said: “It’s really important for David to get out. Womble the therapy dog really helps, as she is something you can focus on rather than letting your mind worry. Pedal people introduced us to go on the bike to go to the beach. We sat next to each other and enjoyed the adventure going back around where David grew up. Now hopefully we will do more!”
There are multiple brilliant organisations in Sussex working to support people with dementia, including two more below:
The Music Well, Rye
Music not only unites people but it can be a sincere way for many people to access memories and reminisce. Recent studies have shown that music therapy actually reduces agitation and the need for medication in nearly 67% of people with dementia.
The Music Well in Rye provides specialised music therapy sessions for people with dementia, autism, depression and those working through trauma. Beyond this, they also provide drum circle sessions, meditative gong baths, singing groups and more.
Age Concern, Eastbourne
Applying for benefits is a difficult task and many of us need help in understanding what welfare we are eligible for and how to receive it. Age Concern Eastbourne specialises in addressing this issue, as well as generally finding ways to empower people of the older generation in the Eastbourne area.
Age Concern Eastbourne also provide financial advice services, including for pensions, as well as a number of paid, therapeutic services at a low cost.