HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opens Sage House

A dementia service believed to be the first of its kind in the UK has opened to the public in Tangmere, Chichester.

Sage House – which was known as the Dementia Hub – is a specialist day-care centre providing all kinds of services for dementia sufferers and their friends and relatives.

The centre, which was set up by local charity Dementia Support, aims to provide services for around 5,000 people living in the Chichester, Bognor Regis, Arundel, Selsey, Witterings, Emsworth, Midhurst and Petworth areas.

The centre is all under one roof and is designed with all the latest thinking in dementia support in mind, for example it has colour-zoned areas rather than written signs, to aid understanding.

A café is run by volunteers in the middle of the centre, which also includes memory assessment rooms, hair salons, exercise rooms, a café and gardens, and special bathrooms which can be booked for personal care services.

Doctors will visit the centre regularly and counselling rooms are available, as well as meeting rooms, space for events and other activity rooms.

“Already the charity is providing day breaks for people living with dementia,” said Nicki Clarke, communications lead for the charity. “This provides much-needed respite care for their carers and families, which is crucial for their wellbeing.

“The Wayfinding service has already been providing dementia information and advice for the local community, and there has already been a high volume of phone calls.

“Dementia wellbeing activities are running each day to provide cognitive therapy and aid reminiscence, such as art, singing, exercise and socialising.”

The Countess of Wessex (Sophie, wife of Prince Edward) opened Sage House along with lord lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper.

“Clearly this is going to serve your communities so very well and provide the framework for models elsewhere in the country,” said the Countess.

For further information contact Dementia Support:  01243 888691

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