This week marks Dementia Action Week 2023, encouraging people to ‘act on dementia’. In the UK over half of us know someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia. Although it is not a natural part of growing older, dementia is more prevalent in people over the age of 65. Sussex has a higher prevalence of dementia than the average for England and certain areas, including Bexhill & Battle and Worthing West, have some of the highest rates in the UK.
Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain and not only affects memory, but can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave. However, through the tremendous support that local charities and community groups provide, people with dementia can continue to have a good quality of life and carry on doing the things that matter to them most.
Across Sussex, there are Dementia Action Alliances aiming to transform the lives of local dementia sufferers. This includes Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance who work to make Eastbourne a dementia-inclusive community. The charity use social media, information stands, leaflets and other means to signpost people living with dementia and their carers to support and local services. They also undertake initiatives that are aimed at increasing awareness and improving the lives of members of the local dementia community.
Jenny joined the EDAA as a Volunteer in 2018. She had personal experience of dementia as her husband, Mike, lived with it for 10 years before he sadly passed away 3 days after his 78th birthday. She has since trained to become a Dementia Champion and runs Dementia Friends information sessions.
“Joining the EDAA has been life-changing; it has given me a sense of purpose. I am pleased to be helping others giving them the sort of support and information I would like to have received when Mike was still alive.”
Eastbourne Dementia Action Alliance received a grant of £8,000 in March to continue to employ a Charity Coordinator for 13 hours per week for one year.
At Sussex Community Foundation, we’re proud to have 14 funds that specifically provide grants to older peoples’ projects. If this is an area you would like to support, please do get in touch.
Together we can help make Sussex a dementia-inclusive community.