Dementia affects many in community

OFFICIAL figures show that there are 561 people in Hastings and St Leonards with a diagnosis of dementia.

National averages suggest that figure should be closer to 1,000. That is 1,000 mums, dads, grans, granddads, aunts, uncles.

Dementia is a disease for all the family and touches many thousands of people in our community.

In Hastings and St Leonards there is a great network of day services, supper clubs, carers groups and other social activities where dementia is not a stigma, it’s just how it is.

The latest is Dementia Support at The Bridge, a project run by carers to provide us, the loved ones we care for, our families and friends with opportunities to enjoy the company of people like us. We chat and play games on Monday afternoons; we sing and dance on Friday afternoons.

We have published a directory of Dementia Support Services in Hastings and St Leonards that is widely available through GPs, social workers, dementia support workers and public spaces in the town. There are always copies at The Bridge Community Centre.

Some of the people living in our community with dementia are now being looked after in residential care. Some are engaged already with the support networks. A large number, however, are out there, perhaps feeling lonely, isolated and struggling to know where their next smile will come from.

Please know that there are people just like you who are joining together to make the best of a difficult situation. You are welcome too.

Dementia drop in sessions, 1.30pm to 3.30pm Mondays, singing, 3pm to 4pm, Fridays at The Bridge Community Centre, Priory Road.

Visit www.facebook.com/dementia.hastings.

STEVE NUTTALL

Dementia Support at The Bridge