What is dementia?

Dementia is not a natural part of aging and symptoms of dementia need thorough investigation, regardless of the person's age.

Dementia is an illness of the brain. When someone has dementia, brain cells are damaged and die faster than they would normally. Losing brain cells means that the brain does not work as well as it should, and gradually people lose the ability to do things.

Often, memory is affected first and people forget important facts such as the name of their husband or wife. Later, as the illness progresses, people get confused about things like where they are, what day it is or who other people are.

People with dementia may become listless and lose interest in activities that have previously been important to them. In the later stages, people lose the ability to look after themselves and may need help with washing, dressing and eating. Conversation becomes repetitive and the same question may be repeated over and over.

Our project

Dementia project started in 9th May 2012 and last until 13th June 2012 this was a six weeks course. The aim of the project was to raise awareness and Understanding within the African and Caribbean Community, and also to promote knowledge of Dementia and current services and support networks, and to identify the particular needs on the African and Caribbean Community. The project was facilitated by health professionals from Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Family Career, Ipswich Hospital and Professional Musician. 13 people was registered on the course and 10 regularly attended.

Some of the participants feedback, they was very happy to have attended this course it has helped them to know what signs to look for they did not know so many things before relating to dementia. They said that there are more people from their community who need to know and be informed.

Other participant said that, they was feeling unsure of what they would learn at the start. But after they felt so empowered I have a lot of information, and the course was well put together.

They also mentioned that, they was very informed, they felt that they had a good break from their caring role, but the learning they have now has made their caring role much easier.


  • Raise awareness of the advanced care plan (ACP) documents and where to find them
  • Raise awareness as to the difference between the Advance Care Plan, The Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment and Lasting Power of Attorney.
  • To describe a positive outcome where the documents have been completed and what can happen when they are not
  • Raise Awareness of who SFC are and the services they provide
  • Raising Awareness and Understanding within the Community
  • Promoting knowledge of dementia and current services and support networks
  • Identifying the particular needs of the Community


  • Running a programme of workshops to promote greater awareness and understanding of dementia
  • Providing feedback to participants and the Forum as to what has been learnt and what is being done in response to this learning
  • Ensuring that the programme is focussed on both the needs of people diagnosed with dementia and of their Family Carers/relatives
  • Ensuring that the programme is a 2-way process, providing information for participants and also facilitating feedback from participants as to their current experience and what they need from services
  • Ensuring that Workshop facilitation is representative of the Caribbean and African Community