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Living well with dementia

A dementia diagnosis can often come as a shock and you may need time to adjust.

Following this, many people find that by making some changes, they can continue to live well and have a fulfilling life.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has produced an award-winning video exploring how six people have made adjustments following their diagnosis, so that they can continue to live well. 


Planning early for the future

Creating a care plan

Following diagnosis, your GP will work with you to produce a care plan. This can also include input from your family and friend carer. The plan has a medical focus and will include your medical history, care in an emergency, and information for out-of-hours services.

Having early conversations

It is also important to have early conversations about your future, to plan for any additional support you may need, manage your finances and make legal arrangements such as wills and powers of attorney.

This is Me is a simple leaflet that can be used to record details about a person who can't easily share information about themselves. You can download it or order a free copy on the Alzheimer’s Society website.

If there is a risk that the person you are caring for might get lost or go missing, you may want to complete the Herbert Protocol Safe and Found tool. It contains a list of information and a recent photograph to help emergency services if the person goes missing.  To find out more visit the Sussex Police website.

Dementia Guide - planning ahead

Chapter 4 of the Dementia Guide provides comprehensive information on planning ahead following a diagnosis. It includes financial matters, benefits and entitlements, and making decisions for the future, alongside practical issues such as driving and working.

Carewise - planning your finances

Planning ahead for long-term care can help you to manage your finances and give you and your family peace of mind. 

The  Carewise care funding advice website explains how you can access expert, impartial advice that helps you and your family to make informed decisions about paying for care.

Someone to take decisions on your behalf 

It's important that you have legal arrangements in place for if or when you can no longer take decisions yourself.  Visit our sections on Power of Attorney and Deputyship  for more information.

Keeping well and active

The Alzheimer's Society’s website explains why keeping physically active is important for people living with dementia. It also gives examples of suitable exercises and physical activities for people in different stages of dementia. 

The NHS website includes information on the sorts of activities – physical, mental, social and creative – that can help you to live well with dementia and improve your wellbeing.

Staying connected with people 

Social interaction is very important for our wellbeing. It can help to boost mood, ease stress and stimulate our brains. This may help to slow the progression of dementia.

Specialist day services

West Sussex County Council runs a number specialist day services, offering activities, support and community opportunities. You can find out more about the day services, including costs, on the County Council's website

West Sussex Library Service

The library service offers a range of books and resources for people with dementia and their family and friend carers to help them live well. These include a Reminiscence Collection, Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia Melody for the Mind informal singing groups and a Memory Management Library card with no overdue charges for books returned after their due date.

Visit West Sussex Libraries Dementia Resources  page for more information.

Support and advice for carers

Caring for someone with dementia can be demanding and it is important that you are able to focus on your own wellbeing, as well as the person you are caring for.

Carers Support West Sussex has created a dementia carers toolkit, which provides support and information about our their services and those of their partners to support you. You can access all of the support services offered by Carers Support by registering with them as a carer. 

You can also find useful information, advice and resources for carers on the Carers Hub of this website.

Living alone as a person with dementia

If you are living alone and have dementia you may want to have a look at a helpful booklet from Alzheimer’s Society that outlines some of the help and support that is available to you. This includes tips on staying healthy and active and practical advice on doing everyday tasks. The booklet is free to download or order from the Alzheimer’s Society website.


Extra support to stay living independently

Services and adaptations

In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to manage daily living in the same way as before their diagnosis. As the condition progresses you may need some extra help with daily activities. 

Your home can be adapted to help you to stay safe, mobile and independent. You can find practical advice in the Equipment and Housing pages of this website.

The NHS website also has useful information about aids and equipment, including available funding.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology refers to devices or systems that can support you to maintain or improve your independence, safety and wellbeing. The Alzheimer's Society website includes information about assistive technology and dementia.

Technology enabled care can stop a minor event turning into a crisis, by raising an alarm for a timely, appropriate response. Information on technology enabled care can be found on the equipment page.

Care and support at home

As the dementia  progresses you may find that you need some additional care and support at home, to help you manage with daily living, including your personal care.

Longer-term care

You may reach the stage where your dementia means that, even with additional support, you are starting to find daily life difficult to manage in your home. 

When this happens,  you should speak with your GP or dementia adviser to consider the next steps.  

Options may include live-in care, moving to a new home, more suitable for your needs or a residential or nursing care home

Advance planning can help to ensure that you receive the long-term care you want. Planning ahead can also help to ensure that you can manage your finances so that you can continue to pay for the care you choose for as long as you need it. 

The Carewise care funding advice website explains how you can access expert, impartial advice that helps you and your family to make informed decisions about paying for care.

Learning more about dementia

The dementia learning, development and resources pathway provides a range of E-Learning modules, webinars and virtual reality experiences that can support you enable a person to live well with dementia.  It is for volunteers, staff, carers and families, of those living with dementia. Much of the online training and learning is free to access but you will need to submit a New User Request to be able to access it.

Last updated: 01 December 2023