What We Do
Dementia Support East Sussex offer interactive singing, movement and craft sessions to those living with dementia and their carers.
From small beginnings in 2014 with two sessions per month at our dementia friendly ‘singing and friendship’ group in Bexhill we now complete at least 25 sessions each month across East Sussex (Venues in Ditchling, Lewes, Peachaven, Newhaven, Eastbourne, Horam, Heathfield, Uckfield, Hadlow Down, Hailsham, Bexhill) with our interactive singing sessions.
We operate on a shoestring, make no charge for our sessions and believe our service should be free so that none are excluded. We have sustained our growth through the generosity of donations and small grant funding. We face increased running costs including volunteer travel expenses, purchasing props, ie. musical instruments, pom poms etc., advertising, website maintenance to name but a few. We are constantly being approached to attend new venues but just don’t have the resources at the moment. We hope with more funding and support we will be able to try out more new venues in the future and that we will be able to continue at all our current centres.
For maximum therapeutic benefit for those living with dementia our session programmes are uniquely designed and structured to involve all the senses and produce the greatest level of response from interaction. We regularly see some who have arrived silent or less communicative become animated, talkative and sociable. Others appearing sad or depressed immediately show signs of happiness and even those less mobile become more physically active.
Dementia can be a very lonely world and can still attract stigma. Unfortunately, this leaves these communities among the most disadvantaged with limited social opportunities. By bringing carers, cared for, and community together, we bring a sense of integration and normality.
Stimulation is essential for the self esteem, well being and sense of purpose for those touched by dementia. Singing is the perfect therapy.
A recent article in The Guardian reports:
'Music uses different parts of the brain from language, so can be used to communicate with people with dementia, even if they no longer speak or seem to understand others' words. As a result, it can help them express feelings and ideas and interact with others. It also reduces social isolation and encourages more physical activity through dancing or moving to the music. Research published last year by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) and the Utley Foundation found that music has significant physical and mental health benefits for those with dementia and helps them retain their speech and language skills longer. "Analysis showed that music helps to significantly minimise some of the symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, and can help to tackle anxiety and depressions", says Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC. Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary quoted "Research suggests music can help people with dementia reduce the need for medication or restraints, address agitation and help people and their families cope better with symptoms”.’
(Ploy Radford, The Guardian, Wednesday 9th January 2019)
As dementia is considered a social problem it attracts limited central funding for diagnosis and after care opportunities. Our aim is to continue to address some of the gaps in the current provision of support for existing sufferers and their carers.
42% of the population are affected by the issue of dementia, directly through family, or indirectly through close friends and colleagues.
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051.
225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes.
In the South East there are around 50,000 people living with dementia today, and it is predicted that this will rise to 66,834 people living with dementia by 2021.