Learn more about dementia

People attending a dementia training session as part of the St Barnabas House's Six Steps+ programme
People attending a dementia training session as part of the St Barnabas House's Six Steps+ programme

Dementia Friends champion Lucy Ashton is passionate about changing people’s perceptions of the condition.

She is running a free information session at St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing on Monday, January 15, at 11.30am to help people understand better.

There are 13,000 people in West Sussex with a known diagnosis of dementia, although estimated numbers are far higher.

Alzheimer’s Society runs Dementia Friends, which aims to transform the way the nation thinks, talks and acts about the condition.

Lucy, Community Companions co-ordinator at St Barnabas House, said: “I signed up to be a Dementia Friends champion because I am passionate about changing people’s perceptions of dementia.

“It’s easy to get involved. I attended a training course, receive ongoing support and I’m now proud to be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.”

As an offshoot of the Community Companions programme, Lucy has worked closely with dementia lead nurse Aurora Leighton to set up a befriending service called Dementia Companions for patients or carers with moderate to severe cognitive impairment.

Since Aurora started in April 2016, the hospice has been adapting its services to better support patients who have a diagnosis of dementia.

The focus has been on enhancing the care and support given to patients with dementia, and their family and carers, through training for all hospice staff who provide clinical care.

Another significant element has been ensuring the hospice environment is better suited for people with cognitive impairment.

The one-hour Dementia Friends session will teach people more about dementia and explain small ways they can help. Contact Lucy Ashton by email to lucy.ashton@stbh.org.uk or call 01903 706359 to book a place.