Dementia

1. What is dementia?

Dementia is a collective term for symptoms which include:

  • Memory loss
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulties with understanding things
  • Communication difficulties
  • Reduced judgement and reasoning
  • Reduction in skills and abilities needed to carry out daily tasks such as washing, dressing and cooking

These symptoms worsen over time, although the rate of progression differs with each person – as do the symptoms.

Find out more about dementia on the Alzheimer’s Society website.

2. Dementia support in East Sussex

Visit your GP

If you’re worried about your memory, you should contact your GP. Your doctor may do some basic tests with you and might refer you to the memory assessment service.

Memory assessment service

This service provides:

  • a memory assessment
  • a diagnosis
  • an ongoing care management plan for your GP
  • referral back to your GP for continuing care
  • up-to-date information for you and your carer about support and services available in your local area
  • a named personal contact to support you throughout your journey with dementia.

Support after diagnosis

The Dementia Support Service covers East Sussex and offers information, advice and support tailored to your needs.

Dementia Support Service leaflet

They’ll work with you to develop a plan that reflects your health and wellbeing needs. This might include a financial health check.

Contact the Demential Support Service on:

Tel: 0345 60 80 191

Email: HSCC@eastsussex.gov.uk

Once a referral has been made, a member of the team will contact you to arrange a visit.

3. Caring for someone with dementia

Carers can be referred for a carer’s assessment by the Memory Assessment Service.

If you’re a carer for somebody with dementia, please see our carer’s section for help, practical support and advice:

When you’re caring for someone with dementia, it can be all too easy to ignore your own needs and to forget that you matter too:

4. Living well with dementia

We have produced some leaflets offering practical solutions to help you to live well with dementia:

Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends is a national initiative being led by the Alzheimer’s Society to provide people with the skills and understanding to support people with dementia and help us develop truly dementia-friendly communities.

Video – how older people want to be cared for

Watch the video

5. Planning for the future

Knowing what to expect can help everyone to prepare.

For details about symptoms in the later stages, tips to help minimise discomfort and distress, health risks, treatment and care, see:

Advance statements and power of attorney

The individual’s quality of end of life can be enhanced if their values, wishes and preferences are known to those involved in their care. This is called an advance statement.

In addition to making an advance decision to refuse treatment, the person with dementia may also wish to consider putting in place a lasting power of attorney. This appoints someone to make decisions about their treatment and care on their behalf when they lack the mental capacity to do this for themselves.