Dementia - get help

Dementia is a syndrome caused by a number of progressive disorders. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia usually develops in people who are over 65 years old although it can affect younger people.

It is a complex condition that involves the deterioration of a person’s mental faculties, including memory, reasoning and thinking. As it progresses, the person with dementia will show different symptoms like problems with speech and understanding instructions, general confusion and changes in personality.

How we can help

Get help if you are a carer for someone with dementia.

Find out more about what dementia is and what the symptoms are from NHS Choices and from the Alzheimer’s Society.

If you're worried that you or a friend or family member may be showing symptoms of dementia, you should contact your GP.

Help and support is available to anyone who has had a medical diagnosis of dementia, or is concerned they may have dementia. Help is also available for carers.

Dementia assessment and diagnosis

If your GP thinks you may have dementia they can refer you to the Memory Assessment Service.

We will aim to respond to you within 24 hours during the working week.

The Memory Assessment Service provides memory testing and can make a dementia diagnosis. The service can also offer advice, care and support from trained dementia advisors for people with dementia and their carers.

The Memory Assessment Service is provided by the Brighton and Hove Integrated Care Service in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Dementia Services and the Brighton & Hove Carers Centre.

If you or someone you care for has more complex and challenging needs, the Specialist Older Adults Mental Health Service may be able to support you.

Referral to this service is made following an assessment by the Memory Assessment Service, your GP or Adult Social Care. This service is based at Mill View Hospital (West Brighton & Hove) and at Brighton General (East Brighton & Hove).

Adult Social Care Assessment

To work out how much help and support you need, we will need to do an assessment. Then we can agree with you what you need and discuss the help and support that is available.

Financial help

While the assessment, advice and guidance we give you is free, there could be costs depending on some of the services you need. To see if you qualify for any financial help, we will help you to complete a financial assessment form.

We can arrange some services for you but if you want to have more choice and control over how you spend your money on services you can choose to:

  • buy support using a budget that we give to you
  • let us arrange the support that we have agreed you need
  • continue receiving the same support
  • choose a combination of these arrangements.

Activities, advice, information and support groups

If you or someone you care for has received a diagnosis of dementia you may need a lot of support. There is a range of dementia services and support groups in Brighton & Hove that offer daytime activities, advice and provide help for people with dementia and their carers.

The Alzheimer’s Society provides information, support and services to adults of any age with dementia and their carers.

You can find services near you by using the online dementia connect directory.

How to get in touch

Contact the Alzheimer’s Society Brighton & Hove Office:

The Annexe
Ireland Lodge
Lockwood Crescent
Woodingdean
Brighton BN2 6UH

Opening times

  • The office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm
  • Information and advice drop-in centre: Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am to 1pm
  • Support Helpline: Monday to Sunday from 9am to 11pm

Or visit the national website.

Other helpful organisations

Engage & CreateImproves the quality of life for people with dementia and those who care for them. Using the Montessori, approach focusing on individual's strengths and abilities, it provides:

  • art based workshops for people with dementia
  • pop-up dementia experience
  • training
  • Contact: 07980 872 558
  • Email: rachel@engageandcreate.com

Open Strings MusicWeekly music group in central Brighton, called Sing Healthy Play Happy.

It’s Local Actually: An online directory that provides information about a wide range of activities across the city. Just type in the kind of activity you are looking for or your postcode and find activities including sports, dance and other leisure activities, day centres and volunteering opportunities.

If you're not eligible for support

If you're not eligible for support you could employ a care worker or Personal Assistant privately or through an agency. They'll give you the support you will need to do the things you're capable of.

If you need help with personal care, make sure you employ someone who is registered with the Care Quality Commission.

Contact Access Point, the contact centre for Adult Social Care.

We'll talk with you about what you need over the phone. We will make sure we have all the facts about your situation and then a member of the Adult Social Care team may visit you to talk to discuss what help is available.

Are you a carer for someone with dementia? Find out about day activities and respite.

Improving dementia services in Brighton & Hove

In future, we plan to improve and increase dementia service across Brighton & Hove.

The NHS Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and Brighton & Hove City Council have worked together on an assessment of how to best meet the needs of people with dementia.

We produced the Brighton & Hove Joint Strategic Needs Assessment which identifies where dementia services could be improved, for example by:

  • increasing the rate of dementia diagnosis rates
  • raising dementia awareness across the city
  • improving access to dementia training

Download the dementia needs assessment (PDF 1.54MB)

A Dementia Partnership Group oversees the development of our plans to improve dementia services. The Group membership includes:

  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Sussex Community NHS Trust
  • Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Brighton & Hove Integrated Care Service (Memory Assessment Service)
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Age UK Brighton & Hove
  • Brighton & Hove Carers Centre
  • A service user and / or carers representative.