Dementia care

Dementia Friendly Awards 2014
Dementia Friendly Awards 2014

Crawley's pledge to be a dementia-friendly town

Crawley is working to become a Dementia Friendly Town, improving support for people living with the increasingly common condition.

At the start of National Dementia Awareness Week in May 2013, a new alliance working to improve the daily lives of people living with dementia launched its pledge to make Crawley a Dementia Friendly Town.

Just one year on, Dementia Friendly Crawley won an award as best local initiative at the national Dementia Friendly Awards in May 2014. The accolade recognises communities, organisations and individuals who have helped to make their area more dementia-friendly. Find out more on the Dementia Friendly Awards website or watch this film to see how the Dementia Friendly Crawley is working to create a Dementia Friendly Community on a local level.

Dementia increase in Crawley

There are currently approximately 1,200 people living in Crawley who have been diagnosed with dementia and one in five people in the town will have a form of dementia during their lifetime – these numbers will continue to increase and are rising faster in West Sussex compared to the national average due to our older population.

Dr Laura Hill, Dementia Friendly Town project lead at NHS Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, said: “The number of people living with dementia continues to increase and as more of our population gets older we will see even more people needing support and care in their communities. We are committed to improving how we look after people living with dementia, their families and carers. We want to create a town where people with dementia can be supported to stay well and live independently, where their everyday lives are made easy and they can continue to play an active and pivotal role in the life of the town.

“Making Crawley a Dementia Friendly Town can be as simple as improving awareness so that if someone living with dementia needs support or just simple understanding while out shopping, they will have it.”

  • Dementia Friends are being sought in Crawley to ensure people living with dementia can go about their daily lives feeling that they are included in their local community. Find out more and sign up to a one-hour session here to become a friend.
  • FaceDementia Dementia Friendly Crawley is promoting a new social media app, created by Alzheimer’s Research UK, designed to simulate some of the symptoms experienced by people with dementia. FaceDementia harnesses a person’s recent Facebook activity to give an insight into what hundreds of thousands of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia go through each day. The thought-provoking app was developed with input from volunteers, all of whom have been affected by dementia. 

Sussex has the highest prevalence of dementia in the country, with more than 26,500 people living with dementia.

Access to the right information, advice and support at the right time are crucial for people living with dementia, their relatives, carers and friends to be able to manage their condition.

The Sussex Integrated Dementia and End of Life Care Guidance has been designed to help you understand what support to expect, what is possible and what support to ask for at each phase.

We hope people living with dementia, their relatives, carers and friends will use this guidance to get the help they need, when they need it and by doing so are enabled to live, and to die, well.

The guidance has resulted from a consultation with more than 1,800 people across Sussex. This includes people whose lives are directly affected by dementia as well as health and social care practitioners.

There are six phases of the condition:

  1. Recognising there is a problem (awareness)
  2. Discovering that the condition is dementia (assessment, diagnosis and involving the person with dementia in planning for their future care where appropriate)
  3. Living well with dementia (maximising function and capacity to enhance wellbeing and planning for future care including end of life)
  4. Getting the right help at the right time (accessing appropriate and timely support. Reviewing advance care plans)
  5. Nearing the end of life, including the last days of life (palliative care and ensuring advance care plans are reviewed and respected)
  6. Care after death for relatives, carers and significant others (supporting to maintain their wellbeing)

The facts about dementia

  • The term 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms which include loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and damage caused by a series of small strokes.  
  • Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. How fast dementia progresses will depend on the individual person and what type of dementia they have. Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way. Find out more on NHS Choicesind 
  • Find out more about the Department of Health’s Dementia Challenge
  • Find out more about the Dementia Partnerships

Dementia Friendly Crawley hits the national headlines


The organisations and groups who are working together to create a dementia friendly Crawley

  • Crawley Dementia Alliance – brings together NHS Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group, Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and voluntary organisations including The Alzheimer’s Society, Crawley CVS, Carers Support and Age UK as well as County Mall, Barclays Bank and other retailers and local businesses. The Alliance will offer overall leadership and management of introducing a ‘Dementia Friendly Crawley’.
  • Crawley Health and Wellbeing Partnership - is a well-established partnership that brings together local government and health and voluntary sector organisations and has dementia as a top priority. Working with Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group, Crawley Health and Wellbeing Partnership will be the lead partnership in ensuring this work is delivered successfully.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society, Carers Support Service and Age UK will be providing advice and support in involving their clients and developing new services.
  • Crawley Pensioners Active and Older People’s Forum – both represent the needs of older people and are vital partners in delivering meaningful community engagement.
  • Crawley Town Centre Partnership and Economic Action Group - consists of the leading retailers, trade associations and businesses within the town.  Both groups fully support the programme and will ensure strong partnership and involvement of the town business community.
  • Crawley CVS – a key partner to introducing a ‘Dementia Friendly Crawley’. The CVS will be a hub for local voluntary, community and faith groups who will be a direct link to the diverse communities of Crawley.
  • St Catherine's Hospice – working with the alliance to create a dementia friendly Crawley in line with their goals to provide specialised end of life care and support to local people and their families, friends and carers.
  • Sussex Police - fully supports the programme and will have a lead role in helping deliver a safe environment for people living with dementia and their families.
  • Schools and Colleges - will be fully involved for example by delivering health and beauty services as part of the Joyful Moments Project.