Tips to Having a Dementia Friendly Family Christmas

5 Tips for a Dementia Friendly Family Christmas

Enjoy Precious Moments with your loved ones this Christmas

The festive period can be an overwhelming time, particularly for people living with dementia. Here’s a few reminders of how we can all minimise stress, stay calm and enjoy more Precious Moments together this Christmas:

A dementia friendly family christmas

5 Simple Tips

1: When it’s cold and bright, enjoy some exercise in the fresh air together. Look out for birds and winter wildlife, for example along the Chichester canal.

2: Enjoy dementia-friendly activities at Christmas such as carol-singing or simple Christmas crafts. Have a look at our busy Activity programme every week at Sage House.

3: Spend time with friends and family in smaller groups, for shorter amounts of time. Remember Daisy’s Café at Sage House is a relaxed place to get together.

4: Notice and be grateful for the Precious Moments when they happen, from snuggling up under a blanket, to dancing along to your favourite Christmas hit.

5: If you or someone you know needs some support, our dementia Wayfinding Service is free, timely and open to all, just get in touch to make an appointment.

To find more tips on how you can support people with dementia this Christmas go to our Precious Moments Campaign.

Annie Haak Memories Matter Bracelet Stack

We would like to present this beautifully designed, limited edition bracelet made by Annie Haak, this bracelet has been specially created for and to support, Dementia Support 
100% of proceeds from the Memories Matter Bracelet Stack will be donated directly to us.
Handcrafted in 925 Sterling Silver, this three-strand design features three sentimental charms –
Annie’s signature My Guardian Angel and Feather, and a Heart charm
engraved with a ‘Memories Matter’ motto and symbolic Forget-Me-Not Flower to the reverse.

Partnership cemented to support local People Living with Dementia

The Resilience and Emergency WSCC Team with Sally Tabbner, Dementia Support CEO

Local charity Dementia Support welcomed Debbie Kennard, WSCC Cabinet Member for Safer Stronger Communities and the WSCC Resilience and Emergencies Team in a visit to the charity’s purpose-built dementia facility – Sage House in Tangmere. 

The team completed Dementia Friends training which they will apply to the daily work they undertake in supporting and strengthening the community of West Sussex to be prepared as and when disruptive events or emergencies occur.

Debbie Kennard said “I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Sage House and hear about the fantastic work of Dementia Support. There are more than 15,000 people in West Sussex living with dementia which is why it is so important our teams have the knowledge and understanding to support them.

“Our Resilience and Emergencies Team work closely with local groups and I was so pleased they were able to become Dementia Friends.”

Led by Martin Funnell, Resilience and Emergencies Manager, the team also toured the specialist facilities at Sage House and then participated in a Royal Ascot themed competition with the Sage House Day Breaks customers, a service designed to provide respite for families and carers.  

The visit ended with the team from Sage House and WSCC discussing opportunities to work together to not only support people living with dementia in the community by taking part in various upcoming campaigns, training and exercises,  but by working in partnership to raise awareness of dementia as part of the council’s Community Resilience Programme, What If? And the Duke of Cornwall Award which is specifically targeted at young people in the County.

Sally Tabbner, Dementia Support CEO said “As well as providing support and care to those living with dementia and their families and carers locally, as a charity it is our aim to ensure that all of our local communities are dementia friendly.  Our objective to challenge and change people’s perceptions of dementia and therefore how they think, act and talk about it.  Partnerships with key community workers such as the Resilience and Emergencies Team is imperative to help us achieve that.”

The charity opened Sage House in Tangmere last year, which brings all dementia services under one roof to support people living with dementia, and their families and carers.  It is fast becoming known as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ with its integrated and innovative approach to supporting people to live well with the condition even being discussed this week in the House of Commons this week in a debate around dementia care. 

The charity also recently launched a £1 million appeal to so it can reach more people living with dementia and provide support for them and their families. To help Dementia Support raise the £1 million so urgently needed for this unique, local and essential charity, contact them on: 01243 888691 or visit www.dementia-support.org.uk/appeal to make a donation to the Appeal today. 

Chichester Solicitors Glanvilles LLP, chooses Sage House – Dementia Support as Charity of the Year

Glanvilles LLP is a full service law firm, specialising in a wide range of areas such as Wills, Trusts and Probate, Elderly and Vulnerable care, Matrimonial and Child law, Employment and Dispute Resolution, Residential Property and also Commercial legal services.  In addition to being Lexcel accredited, our Wills, Trusts and Probate team are also proud members of ‘Solicitors for the Elderly’ (SFE).

As part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to improve services offered to our clients, we asked our staff if they would like to join a one hour training session to become Dementia Friends. We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout and proud to announce that we have over 40 colleagues that are Dementia Friends.

With this wonderful commitment from our staff, and interest growing, we decided to choose a local charity close to everyone’s hearts and are therefore pleased to announce that Dementia Support is our chosen charity of the year.

We are honoured to work with the team at Dementia Support, and look forward to arranging charitable activities such as bake sales, dress down days, charity quizzes and other special events, in order to raise donations and awareness for the charity. We also look forward to supporting their tea at Tangmere, and other events Dementia Support hosts throughout the year.

Sonia Green, Partner at Glanvilles Chichester office says “Dementia Support’s facility Sage House is currently the only facility of its kind.  By supporting the charity, I would hope that one day it will be able to reach all those in need of its services and support in West Sussex.  I believe Sage House has the potential to become the model for community hubs throughout the UK.

Dementia is indiscriminate and can be very frightening, made even more so by a lack of knowledge and information.  The doors at Sage House are open to anyone in need of support.”

Dementia Support opened their Sage House Hub in May 2018; it is a modern, caring and functional community centre, where people living with dementia, their carers and their families can access direct support, information and advice.

Dementia Support is an exciting local charity working in partnership with voluntary and charitable organisations, the NHS, West Sussex County Council and other statutory organisations, to create a unique community hub for dementia. Designed to truly enhance the wellbeing and quality of life for local people living with dementia, their family and carers.

Sally Tabbner, Chief Executive, Dementia Support  adds, “We are delighted to have the support of Glanvilles, particularly because they have made such efforts to become Dementia Friends and have taken time to understand this disease.  We have just launched our £1 million Wayfinder Appeal with the
aim of reaching more people living with dementia and their families in our local community.  Working with local businesses such as Glanvilles will help us achieve this goal.”

Celebrating our Volunteers

3rd – 7th June was National Volunteer Week, and we thanked our wonderful volunteers for their hard work.

We have a range of volunteers who support our activities at Sage House – such as art, music, singing, exercise classes and social groups. Volunteers also help in the Café and in the offices providing much needed support for our team.

As a thank you for our volunteers we held an Afternoon Tea, kindly sponsored by Cameron James Solicitors and Ascot Lloyd Financial. The volunteers were also presented with a certificate to acknowledge the time they have given to the charity.

Volunteers enjoying their afternoon tea and cake

What is it like to be a volunteer for Dementia Support?

Shaun Lyndon Smith is the owner of Hair at No.4 Salon in Chichester. He very kindly donates his time and expertise at our Sage House Salon on a Monday and Wednesday morning.

My experience is personal as my father had dementia and sadly my mother in law is going through a very similar thing.

Cutting hair for people living with dementia and their carers and the happy feeling of looking good is something I can give people.
Hairdressing is an artform I can give to people and give back to the community. I enjoy doing it and the people here are great so they always make me feel welcome. I’ve built up a bit of a bond with some of the clients here; they all walk past and wave and say ‘hello Shaun’.
So the more I can give the better I feel; its great fun. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it.
Shaun with one of our Sage House Salon clients

Dementia Action Week 2019 – become a dementia friends

As part of Dementia Action Week 2019 – a national event to raise awareness about this disease, Dementia Support will be holding dementia friends sessions at Sage House.

What is a dementia friend?

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.

Become a dementia friend, or make your business or organisation dementia friendly. A session lasts up to an hour and will give you valuable insight into what it is like to live with dementia.

Our sessions in Dementia Action Week are taking place on:

  • Monday 20th May, 10am – 11am
  • Tuesday 21st May, 2pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 22nd May, 2pm – 3pm
  • Friday 24th May, 11am – 12noon

Register by calling us on: 01243 888 691 or email: info@dementia-support.org.uk Please note these sessions are free of charge.

You can find more details about the initiative on the dementia friends website: www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Lets talk about dementia – meet our Wayfinders

During our Wayfinding Week – 13th – 17th May, we will be visiting various local West Sussex towns to offer support to the local community. 

Come along and chat to the dementia Wayfinding Team for information, advice and emotional support. Look out for them on their Pink Sofa.

Dementia Support has unique Wayfinders – individuals who provide emotional support and practical advice to enable people to navigate the dementia world. 

“It is an honour and a privilege to support people living with dementia.  No-one should struggle alone with this disease, as a Wayfinder I will always be there for people living with dementia and their families and friends. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be tough, both in a practical sense and emotionally.  I am very proud to be a Wayfinder and look forward to meeting people on our pink sofa.   Come over and say hello.” Jacquie Pond, one of the Wayfinders at Dementia Support.

Whether you are living with dementia or a family member has dementia, stop by the pink sofa and have your questions answered. You can find the sofa and the Wayfinders in the following locations.

•           Monday 13th 9.30am – 12.30pm – Bognor High Street nr Santander Bank

•           Monday 13th 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Rose Green, outside Co-op Funeral Care/ Rose Green Post Office

•           Tuesday 14th 9.30am – 12.30pm – Pagham, The Parade (outside Co-op Funeral Care)

•           Tuesday 14th 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Chichester, outside Chichester District Council Car Park, Friary Lane

•           Wednesday 15th 9.30am – 12.30pm – Petworth, outside The Star & Leconfield Hall

•           Wednesday 15th 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Fittleworth Community Shop, School Lane

•           Thursday 16th – 9.30am – 12.30pm – Arundel, The Arundel Surgery, Green Lane Close

•           Thursday 16th – 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Barnham, outside Co-op Funeral care, Barnham Road

•           Friday 17th – 9.30am – 12.30pm – Selsey, outside Selsey Co-op (next to doctors surgery)

•           Friday 17th – 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Witterings – Witterings Medical Centre, Cakeham Road, East Wittering.

Our Wayfinder Appeal

Every 3 minutes somebody will develop dementia; that could be someone in your family.  The charity wants to reach everyone affected by dementia in our West Sussex area.

Currently the Wayfinding team can only reach 10% of people in our area, so Dementia Support has launched a new £1 million Appeal to help fund more vital Wayfinders and dementia services at Sage House and out in the community. This will reduce loneliness, give the best quality care, provide hope and support for the whole family affected by dementia.

To donate to the Wayfinder Appeal today:

visit www.dementia-support.org.uk/appeal or £10 text WAY to 70085 (this will cost £10 plus your standard text message rate).

Ben’s Marathon Challenge

Ben Cornick, 43 from Westbourne near Chichester, is taking on the life changing challenge of running the London Marathon.  He is running in memory of his uncle Bill Worden and raising money for local charity Dementia Support and for Dementia Revolution – the marathon’s charity of the year.

Ben and his daughter Izzy visiting Sage House

Ben discovered race running quite late and this will be his first marathon.  He took part in the Great South Run in October 2018 and was inspired to continue.  He has been motivated to maintain his new found fitness but also to keep raising money for Dementia Support and the charity’s new dementia care facility Sage House in Tangmere. 

Both Ben’s aunt and uncle, Sylvia and Bill Worden, have been involved with the charity since it was established in 2014.  They were both supporters of the new dementia support hub – Sage House, and they were keen to see it built for the local community.  Bill himself had dementia, and sadly died two days before Sage House opened without seeing the fruits of his support. 

The family are still heavily involved with the charity, Sylvia volunteers regularly at Sage House and nephew Ben is fundraising through his runs and marathons. 

 Ben entered to run the London Marathon through a ballot which was advertised at his work.  Admittedly he did it on a whim and thought there was a slim chance of him successfully being allocated a place. However, he did get a place much to his shock and to the surprise of his family.

Daughter Izzy, aged 10, said she remembered: “Dad collected me after school and said he had some news – I thought he was joking when he said he was running the London Marathon.  But I am very proud of him.  We go out together now, I cycle and Dad runs alongside me.”

Ben started his training back in August for the Great South Run which was 10 miles, and after Christmas he started the Beginner Marathon Plan. Each weekend he has gradually increased the miles he has run, and at the end of March he achieved 22 miles (a marathon is 26 miles).

Ben’s 22 mile route

“I have never been a runner, it was not a goal of mine last summer but once I got started I found I really enjoyed it.  I get an adrenaline rush, but it is also relaxing; if I have had a bad day going for a run is a great remedy. 

“It has been great for my physical health too – I have had to change my diet, be aware of having a drink at the weekends if I want to run, and I’ve noticed a positive change in my fitness too.  It has taken a lot of commitment – I have missed a friend’s 40th birthday, fallen over in the dark – but I’m doing it for a great cause and in memory of a wonderful man, Uncle Bill, who I was very close to.”

“I’m looking forward to being one of the 40,000 running on 28th April, but I’m also looking forward to a month of enjoyment afterwards!  I’m hoping to achieve a run time of 4 – 4.5 hours.  It will be a great atmosphere I’m sure, and the family will get to enjoy the race from the grandstands. 

Ben’s Marathon T-shirt

I am part of the Dementia Revolution groups on social media, and we have been a great support for each other. We have also received a lot of encouragement from Scott Mitchell – Barbara Windor’s husband.  After the marathon the Dementia Revolution team are having a party to celebrate.   

“I would love to keep on running, and to keep on raising money for Dementia Support over several marathons.”

Ben is number 27496 – see if you can spot him on Sunday 28th April!

He is fundraising for Dementia Support and the dementia revolution. His sponsorship page can be found online: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=BenCornick&pageUrl=1

High Sheriff thanks our volunteers

On the 11th February the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Caroline Nicholls DL, attended a thank you lunch and commended the volunteers for their amazing dedication. 

She spoke of the first time she visited Sage House before it was completed, as an empty shell with a vision of providing complete dementia care under one roof. 

The vision is now achieved; it is bright, welcoming and it was an honour to be at the official opening back in May 2018.  It is a facility I wish was around when my mother had dementia.  We were complete novices all those years ago and somewhere like Sage House would have been perfect for us to get help and advice. 

The work of the volunteers is what makes charities like Dementia Support special; it is what makes West Sussex special. It engages our community and you should all be very proud.”

Charity Chairman and Founder, Anthony Wickins, also thanked the volunteers for their contributions and support for the charity.  As well as a team of staff, Dementia Support have 55 volunteers who support the dementia activities, café, office administration, fundraising, befriending, and information and advice service.   

Sylvia Worden has been involved with the charity since its early stages.  She spoke about how it has also been a support for her to volunteer following the death of her husband, who had dementia. 

“It has been a tremendous help to me since Bill died last year.  Sage House is a very positive place; we are like a family.  I support people through the befriending ‘chatter tables’.  People need to be able to talk about dementia and know that we can live well with dementia.”

Another volunteer, Angela Natoli, whose husband lives with dementia and is in a nursing home, helps in the Sage House Café: “I see carers and families come in with the weight of the world on their shoulders; I know how they feel and I volunteer so I can give something back, even if it is just getting them a coffee and providing a friendly ear in the café.  Sage House is a happy place and it shows that dementia doesn’t always need to be doom and gloom.”

The High Sheriff also met two art students from the University of Chichester – Chloe Davies and Nafisa Dewan, who are at Sage House on a work placement as part of their degree.  They run art sessions working towards a project for a group living with dementia and their carers; this is the third art placement with the university and the cross over of generations is a huge success.  

A Union of Caring Angels – Guardian Angels Care choose Dementia Support as their Charity of the Year

Local home care providers – Guardian Angels Carers, have chosen local dementia charity Dementia Support as their Charity of the Year for 2018/19.

Nicola Godwin and her team of ‘Angels’, including dog Bella the mascot, visited Sage House in Tangmere, where Dementia Support provide their services, to kick start their partnership on the 15th November.  Their aim is to raise £5,000 over the next twelve months, and the team have plenty of fundraising ideas. 

The Angels have already fundraised at a Bonfire Night and a street collection in Arundel.  They also have plans to hold a charity football match with Chichester Ladies Club, sell home-made Christmas wreaths, do a sponsored self-defence class, and two daring ‘angels’ and going to do a parachute jump.

The team are also kindly volunteering their time and helping at various events; they will be volunteering at the Sage House Christmas Fayre on Saturday 1st December. 

Guardian Angels Care was established by ex-Olympic sailor Christina Bassadone; through personal experience she saw the limited care on offer and decided to set up a care company that provided compassionate, professional care, and helped clients retain their independence, dignity and individuality.

The team have chosen Dementia Support as they see dementia every day and the impact it has on people’s lives. They are all Dementia Friend trained, which increases awareness and understanding about dementia.

Nicola Godwin, Recruitment Co-ordinator, said “we see carers supporting all stages of dementia on a daily basis and it just highlights to us how important dementia care is.  We are very impressed with what is offered at Sage House and we are delighted to be involved.  This is a great partnership for us; we can refer our own carers and families to Sage House to access the support there, and we can help provide information about having care at home.”

Lesley-Anne Lloyd, Fundraising at Dementia Support, spoke about the benefit the partnership will have for the charity: “we are thrilled that Guardian Angels Care have chosen Dementia Support as their charity of the year.  Not only have they pledged that they will raise a significant amount of money, but they are also volunteering to help with our fundraising efforts as well”.