A Goring couple are sharing their tips on living well with dementia ahead of Dementia Awareness Week (May 17th to 23rd).
Tony and Maureen Kirbell have first-hand experience of the condition as Tony, 75, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, four years ago.
Tony said: “The most important thing is that you can’t stop. It’s important to keep your brain active. I do lots of woodwork in my shed and attend several local groups including Worthing Town Criers.”
Maureen, Tony’s wife and carer, said keeping active and social was important for both of them. She said: “You must keep socialising, just get on with your life and make the most of each day while you can. It is so important that you don’t feel that you are going through this on your own.”
West Sussex County Council is backing Dementia Awareness Week by promoting understanding of the condition.
The Books on Prescription scheme is available in all West Sussex libraries, which allows people with dementia and their carers to access self-help books recommended by health experts and those with experience of the condition.
Peter Catchpole, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at West Sussex County Council, said: “There are currently around 14,000 people living with dementia in West Sussex and this figure is expected to rise by 14 per cent by 2017, so it is an issue which is likely to impact on everyone in some way.
“Dementia Awareness Week is about making sure that people are aware of what dementia is and how they can assist those living with it.”
Information about dementia is available:
• on West Sussex Connect to Support website atwww.westsussexconnecttosupport.org/dementia
• from Carers Support West Sussex on 0300 028 8888 or seewww.carerssupport.org.uk or from the Alzheimer’s Society Sussex helpline on 01403 213017 (available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm), email at firstname.lastname@example.org or website atwww.alzheimers.org.uk
A number of dementia forums are held around West Sussex which raise awareness of dementia within the community. For details email: email@example.com