People affected by dementia, including family and friends, are being encouraged to share their experiences of care and support.
From Monday (May 21), residents can complete a survey developed by the county council and its Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) partners, designed to capture the quality of care provision in West Sussex.
There are two surveys aimed at helping shape services going forward.
One is targeted at organisations and groups supporting people living with dementia and the other is open to all residents - including those who have been affected by the condition.
The survey will inform a review of the West Sussex Dementia Framework, a five-year commissioning plan produced in partnership with the county’s three CCGs, outlining health and social care goals and priority areas of development for people with dementia.
The launch coincides with the arrival of Dementia Action Week (May 21-27).
Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We are undertaking this survey in order to achieve two goals. Firstly, to hear the opinions of people who have arranged or experienced dementia care for their loved ones and determine not only the successes, but also any areas requiring improvement.
“This will enable us to feedback to our providers and update our plans to help people live well with dementia.
“Secondly, we want to learn more about people’s perceptions of dementia and how we can continue to develop residents’ knowledge and understanding in our communities.”
One way residents can become dementia aware and learn how to make a positive difference to a person’s day-to-day life is by becoming a Dementia Friend.
There are more than 25,500 Dementia Friends in West Sussex and the council is continuing to back Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative to increase this number in Dementia Action Week.
Anyone of any age can become a Dementia Friend. Through a short awareness session people can, find out what it’s like to live with dementia and discover how they can help a person in their community through a simple act of kindness.
A number of dementia-friendly events held across the county during the week include:
• Monday 21 May - Horsham Library dementia awareness drop-in from 10.30am to 1pm, organised by Alzheimer’s Society
• Monday 21 May – ‘Tea and Tech at Tangmere’ from 11am to 1pm at Dementia Support Tangmere Hub
• Tuesday 22 May – Worthing open-top bus ride from 9.30am to 5pm, organised by Worthing Dementia Action Alliance
• Tuesday 22 May - Dementia Seminar from 11.30am to 2.30pm at Henfield Haven, Henfield
• Wednesday 23 May - ‘United against Dementia’ information sessions held at Sainsbury’s stores in East Grinstead, Crawley, Horsham, Pulborough, Chichester and more
• Thursday 24 May – Dementia Conference hosted by Burgess Hill Dementia Action Alliance including a ‘Virtual Dementia Tour’, from 10 am to 2pm at Martletts Hall
• Friday 25 May – Southwick Library hosts ‘Melody for the Mind’ singing group from 10.30am to 11.30am
For more information about events taking place during Dementia Action Week and to become a Dementia Friend, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/DAW18.
The dementia survey closes on June 30 2018.
To complete the survey (from May 21), visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/dementiasurvey.
If you’re worried about a loved one with dementia, visit your GP or contact Alzheimer’s Society’s Sussex helpline on 01403 213017 or go to www.alzheimers.org.uk/helpline.