Blog

Jamie Steen- 10th May 2022

It was the 1950s all over again…

Jamie managed another 12 costume changes – each of which complemented the songs.

Gyda’s crafters were being creative, as usual.

We all liked to dance to the 50s tunes.

Julian is with us at our next session. You can get a flavour of the man on his YouTube site. Here is a sample:

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 24th May at 1pm.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Carers Group: 9/05/22

Mental Awareness Week

Janet – read about this year’s topic – loneliness – including 5 steps for well being. You can read the articles that Janet based her talk on here.

Stress

The husband was going out by cab, enabling him to feel independent. His mobility is getting worse, but other things are affected too – it’s a constant star of flux. He contradicts himself all the time. He used to go out not long ago, but is not able to any more. It’s hard getting him in and out of the car and his wife has stopped leaving him on his own. A member questioned how safe is her husband is at home, especially on the stairs. His wife is considering putting the bed downstairs, if he agrees, but he currently says No. He is being included with all the decisions so far. He knows there is an issue with the stairs. Janet said the wife may have to say: if you want to stay here this is what we are going to do. It’s in her best interest. 

A mum has been napping pretty regularly in the afternoons and when she wakes she thinks her daughter is her mum. Now it’s her dad as well. The daughter is getting better at handling it. She is keeping mum busy watering the seeds up and down the path that are not really there. She is planting bedding plants when mum is not looking. Our member has had a lot going on with her mother in law, caring for the last 5 weeks. She feels like she’s running on empty.

Care packages

Another carer asked about changing care packages. They would like to use a private agency, but are concerned about changing, to part private and being able to return to social services at any time. Tatiana recommended  speaking to Social Services about options. Direct payments will give opportunities to look for different agencies. You may read about ‘Personal Budgets’ here.

Making decisions

A popular member of our Friendship Group has had a medical procedure. She will need further treatment but, the moment, she doesn’t want it. She will have a consultation to explain it all to her. Janet asked what the reason not to have the treatment – her brother said she has been watching too much on-line and she has a massive distrust of people in authority. Janet suggested she talked to the specialist nurse and raise her concerns.

Having a break

A carer has been able to have a few days in Wales and will be going to visit his 98 year old mum in Cornwall.

Tidiness

A step-father is alright. He can be rational and irrational about things. He took himself to have a procedure on his eye. He said his eyes have improved. He has been taking things into the garden constantly to keep his step-daughter from telling him off for being untidy. So now she’s not going to tell him when she’s going round.

A mum is still decluttering, but actually making things worse – she can’t find things!

Support

Another carer spoke about a friend’s mother who needs support.  But won’t accept  and is managing everything herself. Reading and joining the discussions on the Alzheimer’s Society’s “Talking Point” can be a helpful step in managing your expectations and realising the stress that builds when you are in a caring role.

The MIND cafe is open Thursday 10.00 – 12.00 the first Thursday in the month. Read more here.

There is a Songhaven concert on Sunday May 15th  at All Saints Church Woolwich. Full information here.

Next meeting 13th June 2022.

Vikki Melrose – 26th April 2022

Vikki gave us another spendid performance today.

You can see more of Vikki on her website here.

Gyda encouraged our artistic members to create Spring themed pictures.

David and his painters were in full flow.

If you would like to see some of David’s paintings, hear his poems or read his reminiscences click here.

We welcomed Carmen from The Greenwich Carers Centre. They say: “Everything we do is about supporting you. Our Carer’s Hub service provides emotional, practical and personal wellbeing support.” Find out more here.

Jamie is back with us next time with songs from the 1950s. This year Jamie celebrate30 year’s in show business – you can see many of his successes (and costumes) on his website here.

What a vision! Jamie preparing for a vintage Snow White panto:

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 10th May at 1pm.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Tony Martin – 12th April 2022

Tony sang for us.

A selection of golden oldies.

You can hear some of Tony’s best tunes here.

The crafters got into the Easter spirit.

David showed some of the group’s completed artwork.

Dancing was inevitable.

We were very pleased to welcome Gary from The Greenwich Carers Centre who offers confidential advice to our members. The Centre has lots of useful information here.

Playlist for Life

Which songs trigger memories for you? Do you hear certain tunes which prompt an emotional response? I recommend you create a Playlist for Life for you and your loved ones. It’s fun and you will be surprised how powerful a tune can be. You can discover more about the benefits of a Playlist and access lots of information and example Playlists on the website here.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 26th April at 1pm. Numbers will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future, to ensure everyone has plenty of space, and many safety measures will continue to remain in place.

Vikki will entertain us with her popular selection of songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s. You can see more of Vikki on her website here.

Have you had your Covid booster jab? (I have) Find out more on the government website here.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Carers Group: 11/04/22

Not so Strong and Steady

A husband was going to the Strong and Steady class which he was enjoying. Last week his wife was told he could no longer attend, as they couldn’t ensure his safety at the group.  The Strong and Steady class staff were going to call tomorrow to discuss the issues. Janet suggested the wife say that she has her own health concerns because what has happened. Tatiana said: Ask what was the risk? What happened exactly? What is the element that’s changed? Janet added: Ask what did they observe? Would they consider if she is at risk having him at home – and that will give her some idea of what to do. She can then make a list of pros and cons for downstairs to help make a balanced decision. 

The husband was going out by cab, enabling him to feel independent. His mobility is getting worse, but other things are affected too – it’s a constant star of flux. He contradicts himself all the time. He used to go out not long ago, but is not able to any more. It’s hard getting him in and out of the car and his wife has stopped leaving him on his own. A member questioned how safe is her husband is at home, especially on the stairs. His wife is considering putting the bed downstairs, if he agrees, but he currently says No. He is being included with all the decisions so far. He knows there is an issue with the stairs. Janet said the wife may have to say: if you want to stay here this is what we are going to do. It’s in her best interest. 

Another carer said stairs are an area of concern for his wife too. She will stop and then not move. She is deteriorating and very cautious, weak and not in touch with what’s going on. 

A daughter has put her mum’s bed downstairs so she gets used to it over a few months. She now calls it her new bedroom. They are slowly moving the house around basing decisions on mum’s safety.

Unstable

Another carer’s husband collapsed in the bathroom last Sunday. He kept trying to stand up and he was all wobbly. She rang the GP in the morning and is doing a diary of his blood pressure, as it was very high. He is on tablets, but they may have to be increased. He gets up about four times a night. It’s very frightening. If he really hurt himself, the wife couldn’t pick him up. She is waiting for the doctor to get back to her to have further discussion. 

Talking Point article “Love Lies”

Janet started the discussion with an article from the Alzheimer’s Society (see here).

A daughter said it is kinder for her to fib to mum, this is how she deal with her. A brother considers which is the greater good for his sister. He says to her… maybe we can think about it later, or, not everyone thinks the same. Janet noted that carers have grown so much having to adapt and look after themselves. 

Care home visits

Another daughter has seen her father, in his care home, a few times during the week but not at weekends. All the visits are still in the conservatory. Her dad falls asleep every time, and there hasn’t been a change in about 18 months. Janet suggested she ask if he has more alert times during the day. She could visit then, engage with him and get most out of the visit.

Next meeting 9th May 2022.

Julian – 29th March 2022

Another polished performance by Julian.

Nice to see a chap with a tie.

Janet found another chap with a tie to dance with.

Gyda encouraged crafting and the word searches were popular.

Mary was in charge of Room 2 and kept the conversations bubbling along.

Best wishes to our former members now living in the South West. We hope you are back to full fitness soon.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 12th April at 1pm. Numbers will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future, to ensure everyone has plenty of space, and many safety measures will continue to remain in place.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Carers Group: 21/03/22

Confusion in a care home

A carer had a question about care homes and respite. She was concerned about her mum losing her clothes and them being replaced with someone else’s. She also asked if the group thought her mum should see a psychiatrist due to her delirium. Members suggested that mum’s name be put inside all her clothing and there would be a good chance she will get them back. Mistakes could occur. It is inevitable that people go in the room and her mum may go in some one’s room. People will go in and out of rooms because they are disoriented. They don’t recognise their own belongings. Staff do the best and it can be difficult to keep track of it. Tatiana – said if it’s causing distress to the mum she would expect the home to look into it. The carer said her mum is talking to herself and can become aggressive and didn’t recognise her daughter. Janet suspects mum doesn’t recognise her daughter’s house after three years. Janet gave the carer the post diagnostic specialist nurse information and contact Mind for a referral for her mum.

Not drinking

A mum was not drinking. Another carer said he has tried everything to get his wife to drink – special straws didn’t work, ice cream, jelly drops maybe. Janet – the brain tells us to drink but if that part of the brain isn’t working on more responsive days get the fluids in. Dementia is unpredictable… things just happen. The daughter is worried her mum will end up on a drip like last time. Janet suggested contacting Kate Hudson, the dementia nurse at QE.

Living alone

Looking after someone who lives alone is difficult. This subject is hoarding rubbish. The family carers have installed a Ring doorbell, as a man had knocked asking for money for a job done on the roof. Fortunately, no money was handed over any money and the police were called. They came round and praised him for his action.

Weakening

A wife is much weaker than she as and is walking with a stoop. She has gentle falls and sits down on a step and can’t get up. Her husband has emailed the Memory Clinic and has an appointment

More confusion

A brother was feeling stressed about his sister before the meeting. She had sent messages telling everyone she was having an operation, but she is just having test results. The rest of the family did not know this and thought the worst. She is increasingly forgetful. He might get a Ring doorbell for peace of mind. He will try to persuade her and get his wife working on the sister. They did have a nice day for the brother’s birthday.

Perception

A dad has perception issues – auditory perception too. He will respond, but doesn’t turn to the sound, but will carry on the conversation. He doesn’t sit exactly on a chair, but on the edge or arm rest. Going through a doorway he will go stepping up rather than walk through. He talks to himself and other people that only he can see. He had an episode last week becoming agitated and hitting himself which he hasn’t done for about a year. His only medication is sleeping tablets and eye drops. Janet – asked if he was depressed. The daughter said he sinks into a mood, but not all the time. He will work his way through it. He asks what is happening to him and he maybe aware of this dragging him down. Janet suggested keep an eye on how this develops.

How to walk

A husband has ongoing issues using his walker. He told his nurse that he didn’t like it, as it labels him. He says he’s ok with a stick. He assumes his wife will sort out any problems. He is going to a Strong and Steady class. It was suggested to get a health professional to tell him “if you have a Walker then use it”. He might take more notice of a professional. His ability varies all the time. Tiredness comes into it and is not consistent and unpredictable.

Ring ring

You can find out more about Ring doorbells here. The link is for information only, there are other similar options and we do not recommend any particular product.

Next meeting 11th April 2022.

Jamie – 15th March 2022

Yet another collection of exotic clothing today. The tunes were a bit more relaxed.

Jamie seems to have a very eclectic wardrobe, but he needs it to represent the singers he references. I wonder what he wears on a wild night out.

The dancers enjoyed the mellow tunes.

Gyda’s love map proved popular and David’s craft corner produced some more unusual artwork.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 29th March at 1pm. Numbers will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future, to ensure everyone has plenty of space, and many safety measures will continue to remain in place.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Vikki – 1st March 2022

Vikki was in very good voice today and put in a great performance.

As usual, she was looking the part, and danced-up a storm.

Everyone had a dance. Janet and her partner showed off their ballroom skills (too quick a quick-step to be caught on camera)..

The puzzlers enjoyed the jigsaws.

David’s and Gyda’s craft corners were busy with some detailed work this week.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 15th March at 1pm. Numbers will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future, to ensure everyone has plenty of space, and many safety measures will continue to remain in place.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.

Tony – 15th February 2022

A great afternoon with archery (with thanks to our instructor Marc) and music from Tony.

Tony was on good form again and ended up reminiscing about the 1980s, with his vintage coat.

There was lots of dancing as usual.

David had the crafters working particularly hard this week. The results were very impressive.

We were very pleased that two of the Reflections trustees, Sarah and Marc joined us today. Thanks also to Mary for changing her plans at the last minute to help cover of absences.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 1st March at 1pm. Numbers will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future, to ensure everyone has plenty of space, and many safety measures will continue to remain in place.

You may now nominate Reflections as your charity when you buy items on Amazon. Click here for more information. It does not cost you (or the retailer) anything and Reflections will receive 0.5% of what you spend.