Blog

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.

Carers Group: 14/02/22

Valentine’s Day

Introduction

Janet’s introduction was in response to the increasing numbers in the group and the limited time for discussion. In future, at the beginning of the meeting, Janet will ask if anyone has anything specific to bring up, or has any questions. These items will be discussed, then she will go round for updates. If time runs out Janet will make a list for next time.

What I wish people knew about dementia

Janet talked about Wendy Mitchell‘s second book following on from ‘Somebody I used to know’.

  • In the introduction she talks about how dementia affects the senses, emotions and communication.
  • When planning meals she says it is important to consider the temperature of food, hot meals can be difficult and challenging.
  • Chewing food becomes laborious and some one with dementia may forget to chew enough.
  • Using a knife and fork – two motor skills at a time become hard.
  • Losing sense of taste.
  • Eating the same meals over and over again – you may not remember what to have eaten but you may remember what you like.
  • These things can be difficult for those who don’t have dementia and the carers – try not to take it personally.

The group discussed their experiences:

One lady eats food that has gone-off, soft foods in general and raw potato, chillies, whole lemons and oranges. Her husband wondered if she enjoyed the texture. Janet suggested that carers need to become become detectives. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. It’s important to get them to eat something nutritious and a variety of foods is important. Janet added that in working out ways to succeed you have to be canny and clever.

Another carer has been buying meals for his sister from Tesco, which she now gone off. So, he got M&S meals. She says rice makes her choke and she will only drink almond milk now. She is losing her sense of taste and is becoming very faddy. She also has a ‘thing’ about germs. Janet added that the book said the china that is being used can make a difference. The colour of plates is important – mashed potatoes on white plates are tricky, there needs to be a contrast between the food and the plate. 

A wife said that her husband enjoys his foods and eats obsessively. Even if he’s had a meal he will go and make a sandwich. He did have a choking incident in which she had to put her finger down his throat to release the piece of meat. She tried chopping up his food but he hated that so she has stopped doing it.

Cruising

Following up on a previous discussion on a husband’s love of going on cruises: Janet had suggested the wife contact SAGA to discuss how they could help. They had a wonderful response back and have been invited to go on one of their ships for a tour and lunch, possibly in the summer. The husband’s face had lit up and it was a joyous moment. Hopefully, it will be in July when they celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

Mobility

A wife spoke about her husband’s mobility. He is eager to dance or hold on to each other at Reflections. He has an air of helplessness even when sitting down. Recently when she was out he went on a bus – no stick, and went to the shop. She wondered – should she let him go out by himself? Is she being over protective? He has started a mobility class (a group of 3). Maybe this will help. Janet suggested maybe the wife could take her trolley and go with him or discreetly follow!

Issues

A sister wants to change the her doctor’s practice. She had seen a locum, who need to have a prescription counter signed, so went out of the room. She got it in her head that all the doctors leave her alone in the room. Her family have managed to get that all sorted out. The sister wants to maintain her independence, but this puts strain on her family: she visits on the wrong day; she had an argument in a shop over a cash/debit card; and she loses or forgets passwords.

Her sister-in-law said they are asking for her to have a referral to the Memory Clinic. She is not getting up until midday, then taking her medication all at the same time. She doesn’t recognise the time or remember the day of the week. She feels she ruder: she says what she thinks – her filter isn’t working properly. She says she gets memory fog and she is aware she’s not right. These are things she will be able to talk about this when she has her review.

Question

We had a question sent in by a carer who could not attend this evening. She is going away with her sons in March and is finding it difficult to find help for her mum. She thinks it’s best to keep her mum at home and have someone to supervise. A carer suggested Bluebird Bexley agency. He will send some links. He said it’s more about the people who work for them not the agency. He was fortunate to find the right person for his wife. Janet- suggested the Miss Mardle agency.

Reflection piece

Gyda read – “Our lives are full of fragments“.

Next meeting 21st March 2022.

Julian – 1st February 2022

We were treated to a full-on performance from Julian this afternoon. He sang and played the keyboards and the saxophone.

Our favourite multi-instramentalist rocked the room with tunes from the 50s and 60s. It was loud and very dancable.

We had doors and windows open for ventilation, but he dancers soon got hot. As usual we provided soft drinks to keep everyone hydrated.

David kept the crafters busy in the first hour, with some more creative work.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 15th February 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.

Jamie – 18th January 2022

The New Year Rock n Roll Party Show.

Jamie had the group singing along and dancing. Tunes included “She wears red feathers and a hula hula skirt” and “These boots were made for walking”. His new tights were a popular change from the previous psychedelic ones.

The dancing may have included 1960s favourites: The Twist, The Watusi, The Loco-motion, or The Mashed Potato – and then again it may not. Everyone enjoyed whatever dance they did.

David had painted this version of one of the Reflections Friendship Zoom meetings from last year. It is rather large and had a lot of interest from group members and our volunteers. Nice one David.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 1st February 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: 17/01/22

A New Year

The Carers Centre & Memory Clinic

Janet told the group that The Greenwich Carers Centre is closed, including the cafe. You can phone for support. The Memory Clinic is also closed. There are no face to face appointments. You can get in touch by phone, but do accept delays. There may be Zoom meetings and, in exceptional circumstances, a home visit.

Where is mum?

While a carer was unwell over Christmas time her mum had some odd moments and did some odd things. She kept crossing over the road looking for her mum.  Fortunately, the neighbours know the situation and gave help. Also, she is phoning the daughter and asking where her mum is. The daughter asked the group for advice on how to answer and soften the blow.

Janet said the mum may feel unsettled and her mum means security and stability. Ask her what do you want to talk to your mum about?

The group agreed any comments about the mum would need to be handled carefully. It’s about balance. Avoid lying and steer the conversation somewhere else. Speak to the neighbours about deflection conversations about mum. 

Long separations

Another carer hasn’t seen her dad due to COVID and he has a cold at the moment.

Janet advised her to speak to the social worker about her circumstances and visiting. The daughter has some time off in February and  hopes to sort things out.

How to choose what is best

A carer explained that her husband has had dementia for the last four and a half years. The last few months he became bad tempered and suspicious, so he went into respite. He spent several weeks in hospital and then could not come home. He has been in interim care for the last few weeks. He now thinks it’s his home. His wife misses him dreadfully and grieves for the 60 years they’ve had together. It’s very painful and when her heart rules her head, she wants him home. They have four children with differing views on what to do. She now feels she is battling on her own.

The group discussed the challenges of trying to look after the husband at home. There would be a need for day and night carers. The husband would need a bed downstairs, but the bathroom is upstairs. The practical issues were great, but the group emphasised the impact on the carer and the rest of the family. They suggested writing down the pros and cons to yourself and to her husband. Thinking about of her health now and before – how much can she cope with?

Germs and homes

A brother explained his sister has developed a fixation on gems and getting ill. She had toothache and her face became swollen, it was eventually sorted. Her brother is going to buy M&S dinners as she says she’s not eating. She has a lovey flat now, but wants to move back to her old home (which is no longer there). She even signed up for a flat which the brother had to sort out. 

Cruising

A husband likes cruising and it has become an obsession, looking at brochures etc. But several times he has booked a cruise on his own and didn’t tell his wife. She has had to cancel and inform the company of his dementia. She feels awful but knows they couldn’t do a cruise. He wouldn’t be safe. She doesn’t know if he understands. She hates being the policeman and it must be horrible for him.

Group suggestions were: getting out old cruise photos and appropriate meals; tell him you’ve booked one for the end of the years and maybe he’ll forget. Arrange a visit to a cruise ship while in dock for a day’s visit. 

Another carer said her dad had an obsession with a singer and booked a trip to Spain to see him. His son had a long conversation with him and eventually he agreed he would need to stick to watching his videos of the singer. The dad sulked for a couple of months, but it worked. 

Next meeting 14th February 2022.

Happy New Year – 4th January 2022

Tony welcomed everyone back for the first session of the New Year.

He had the group singing along and dancing.

David worked with his group of enthusiastic crafters to develop some interesting pictures.

There was a lot of energy on the dance floor. A good time was had by all.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 18th January 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.