IMPORTANT: Although we had mentioned April 14th as a date when we hoped to re-start our sessions it's now become obvious that this will NOT be possible. At the moment we have no idea when it will be safe for groups such as ours to meet again. We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, we aim to keep in touch with you regularly and would love to hear from you to, with any photos you'd like to send.  

 Here's a lovely photo of Edna and Mo, enjoying singing along to the song links Daphne emailed to members last week. My letter to you follows after the photo.

 

 

 

 

31st March 2020

 Dear RtS Friends

 Well, here we all are – embarking upon our second week of “ Stay at Home” ! I wonder how we are all coping in our various situations? For some it means solitude; for others it's a time of painful separation from those we love and some are now stuck with various family members for goodness knows how long. In my case I'm at home with my husband, Jon; my youngest daughter, Imogen, and her husband, Stuart - oh, and Reuben the Black Lab of course! We are not able to visit my eldest daughter, Tamsin, who has learning difficulties and lives in care near Axminster, or mum-in-law, Betty, who is down in Truro, but we are thankful that both are safe and being well looked after by wonderful staff. I know many of our members are also having to put their faith and trust in care staff to look after loved ones with dementia. What heroes these 'key workers' are.

 I do hope you're all managing to keep yourselves supplied with essentials, whether that's by delivery from kind friends in the community or local shops/supermarkets, or by venturing out yourselves armed with vinyl gloves! Isn't if funny how we've changed our habits so quickly? I'm now happy to eat anything (well, I still draw the line at beetroot) and we're using up all the half-empty packets and strange tins that have been languishing in the dark corners of the kitchen cupboards for months. This morning I did an inventory of all cleaning products! One happy tale: I decided to go to Mole Valley Farmers on the basis that they would have some meat and large packs of washing powder, and joined the queue of 'socially distancing' customers waiting be allowed in. Who should join behind me but one of my dearest friends, whom I had not seen for months. I think we entertained the whole queue with our whoops of joy, 'virtual' hugs across two metres and exchanges of family news, delivered in projected voices (we were both teachers, after all …)

 We're distracting ourselves by creating a golf course in our field for son-in-law Stuart, who's a very keen golfer. So far, there's been lots of mowing and rolling to create two fairways and seven tees. A bunker is planned and the duck pond will be the water feature. We're calling it The Duckspool Golf and Country Club. The old hen house will serve as a clubhouse and various old benches will be re-sited for spectators to watch the action. It's amazing how our field, which was a soggy marshmallow only two weeks ago has dried out in the sun and wind and is being transformed!

I haven't had much time for singing but as life settles down into more of a routine I'm hoping that will change. Lots of folk, of all ages, are becoming more adventurous and confident about using the internet as it's become clear that it can be such a lifeline of communication. Here are some exciting ideas:

 Gareth Malone has started an online choir: You have to subscribe https://decca.com/greatbritishhomechorus/

 This is another one – free but you have to down load an app called Zoom

https://thenudge.com/staying-in/the-sofa-singers/

 And there's also something called Quarantine Chorus/Choir to which Daphne's providing a link, singing our very own Breakfast Song!

 Of course one the easiest things to do online is just use YouTube to find the songs you/your loved one likes to sing.

 In our family we now refer to our “BEV”s ( Boris Exercise Vouchers). I use mine up each afternoon, taking Reuben for a walk. He's not so keen on being on his lead and he hates going past gateways where territorial dogs leap out and bark at him. However, he's gradually getting the idea (rather like the rest of us) that this is how it's going to be for a good while yet. It is glorious to be out in the fresh air and to see all the little changes along the same route as Mother Nature sets about Spring. Today we noticed bluebells coming up.

 

Thinking of you all and missing our Tuesday afternoons!

 

Much love from Jan xx

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

 

 

The situation surrounding Coronavirus is moving rapidly. The committee has taken the decision to close our group for a few weeks whilst this infectious illness is at its peak. This is because so many of our members and volunteers are in the 'at risk' category because of age and/or underlying health issues. Indeed, many of us also go home to loved ones in this category. Care homes are beginning to 'cocoon' their residents from outside activities and this is likely to become commonplace.

The containment measures of frequent hand-washing, avoiding physical contact and keeping our distance from each other are particularly difficult within our group. The important thing is to minimise unnecessary risk for everyone.

This means that we will NOT be holding sessions on 17th or 24th March. Together with our usual Easter holiday, this will allow for a four week break. All being well, we hope to resume our sessions on Tuesday 14th April. We will, of course, make sure that this website is updated as soon as we have more news. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact:

Barbara Buller
Telephone:  01392 217538
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

It was a thoroughly enjoyable privilege for members of Remember that Song to join with Edna Letch and her daughter, Maureen Moore, in celebration of Edna's 100th birthday. The birthday cake featured two of Edna's favourites: an owl, along with the song "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner". An action-packed programme of songs followed the birthday cake, including more songs about London, Edna's home city.  The photographs show the cake, Edna with her daughter, Maureen, and with two of our Musical Leaders (Daphne and Jan).