A message from Remember that Song to all our members and volunteers … 19th March 2020

 

Dear Lovely Friends How the world has changed since we last met together on 10th March and since our announcement about the postponement of our activities for the time being.  For many of us the closure of our familiar social groups and activities will be very hard, and especially for those caring for a loved one. We now know that it won't be possible to return to our RtS sessions for quite a while but rest assured that you are NOT forgotten. Our thoughts are with you all.

I don't have a magic wand to wave, but if you are forced to self-isolate I would urge you to take advantage of the help which is being organised through so many wonderful community and church groups. I've heard of some amazing initiatives: food deliveries; offers to do shopping/walk dogs/collect prescriptions; telephone befriending and countless others. If you don't know what's happening to support you in your area make sure you contact your local church, or GP surgery, or ask a neighbour, or ask someone you know who uses social media. Some of us who are less at risk can offer our services as volunteers; those of you who do fall into the 'at risk' category (whether through age or health issues) should not hesitate to ask for assistance.

At least the weather is improving, and at least we live in a lovely part of Britain. Spring is definitely on its way and lighter evenings are just round the corner. I wonder what you're all finding to do at home? Gardening and DIY seem to be very popular. Let us know what you're up to, and how you're managing to stay on top of things – you might inspire some one else. I'll put your replies in the next little RtS newsletter!  

This morning I went for a walk with Reuben the dog along the River Teign at Steps Bridge, near Dunsford. The wild daffodils are in full bloom, the sun was out and the river was sparkling. We met quite a few people but we all politely kept our distance ( well, the humans did!). It was still easy to have a quick conversation, even from two metres!

Hope you enjoyed Daphne's 'Virtual' RtS Singing Session, sent by email/We Transfer. Stephanie said she sang along whilst preparing supper, and Sue reports that her mum, Rita, enjoyed it too. Maybe you have some favourites from our songbooks that you'd like to hear? I'm sure Daphne will be only too pleased to make other recordings. We’re also looking at other ways to carry on singing and will be in touch about those in due course.

And … if you have access to the internet, there's a great website I've found: www.activitiestoshare.co.uk. It's full of ideas to pass the time for people with dementia, and the music section offers songbooks and CDs which you might like. If you have a CD player at home, why not have a sort through your old collections and make a pile of your old favourites? Who still has a record player, I wonder? And have you heard about the ‘sofa singers’? You need the internet for this, too:(https://www.thesofasingers.net/).

Now might be just the time to make a Memory Book for your loved one, if you haven't already done so. I made one for both my in-laws. I rummaged through old photograph collections and searched on line for pictures of meaningful places. I made notes about what I knew about their life stories, and also contacted other family members to help fill in the gaps. The completed book can serve as a useful prompt for reminiscing.

Finally, if you are stuck at home with a loved one with dementia, remember that there are several telephone helplines for those moments when you need to talk:

 

National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122

Age UK: 0800 169 2081

Dementia UK: 0800 888 66 78

Alzheimer's Society Devon Support Service: 0300 123 2029

 

Much love to you all.

 

Jan

 

Chairman, Remember that Song