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Dementia Support

A recent grant of £5,000 from Sussex Community Foundation was used to fund Dementia Support's Wayfinding team in West Sussex. Their free of charge Wayfinding service provides both practical advice and emotional support to make sense of the journey ahead with dementia. Appointments are offered in-person, or over the phone, and families speak to the same Wayfinder every time - providing a familiar voice from someone who understands their specific needs. 

Deanna and Mike's story

Dementia Support customers Deanna and Mike have had a difficult year which started with Mike having a fall in April.

Deanna first noticed changes in Mike as he wasn't doing nearly as much as he would do at home, he wasn’t interested in anything and had no energy. She could see a gradual decline in his ability and his mobility.

“It was only because Mike fell in April last year that the doctors who looked after him in A&E noticed he was showing signs of dementia. They suggested I should get a referral for him to have a memory test. Mike was diagnosed with Vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s in the July, and since then we have been using the services at Sage House.”

Deanna and Mike have been attending Sage House since his diagnosis and access a full range of services to help their wellbeing. The services have been designed to help people to live well with dementia, ensuring that both the person with dementia and their carer are supported. They are supported by their Wayfinder, Caroline, to navigate the dementia journey and to ensure they can access the services they need.

“We really enjoy coming to Sage House, when Mike is fit enough, we love to come to the exercises. We join in at chair aerobics, as well as Love to Move. He tries his best and really enjoys it. The activity team at Sage House are so encouraging. We love the singing, it’s wonderful, because Amy plays some lovely songs, most of which we know. We don’t remember all the words, but you can learn a lot.”

“Sage House is just so positive, it’s nice to come here. Everybody is very friendly, and all the things on offer from the food to the whole feeling of happiness, help and support, it’s fantastic and so bright and light.”

Before Mikes fall, he used to also attend Day Breaks sessions once a week at Sage House, so Deanna could have a rest. Our Day Breaks service helps carers to have some respite from the challenges of caring for someone living with dementia.

Deanna says, “I think he is very sad he isn’t able to come at the moment as he thoroughly enjoys attending, and it was such a relief for me to know he was safe while I have some time to myself.”

Deanna is finding it hard with Mike in hospital as she worries for him and what the future holds.

“I have good and bad days; I really find it hard to think of what the future is. That's what frightens me. And what will happen after Mike leaves the hospital and comes home, how I will manage physically to support his needs. I’m grateful for Dementia Support and that I’m able to talk to Caroline, my Wayfinder, as this helps as she offers me emotional support and practical advice.”

Our Wayfinding service helps people to navigate the dementia journey, but it is not just about practical advice. It also provides vital emotional support, helping carers make sense of the challenge of dementia. As it is a free of charge service, it is reliant on voluntary income.

Hopefully Mike will be home soon and once recovered they will be able to come back to Sage House and take pleasure in the Day Breaks and activities which they both enjoy so much.

To find out more about this organisation visit the
Dementia Support website

Published on 24th Nov 2023

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