Julian – 23rd november 2021

Julian returned refreshed following his last appearance at Reflections on 3rd March 2020 (our last before the lockdown).

He was on top form and had the group singing along and dancing.

Earlier the craft group were working well and the Wordsearch table were thinking hard.

Some decided to twist the afternoon away..

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 7th December 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 – 9th November 2021

Prior to his winter season in Blackpool (there is nothing like a dame) Jamie gave us a run through of favourite songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s..

We welcomed (amongst others) Elvis, a dedicated follower of fashion and Dolly Parton.

Gyda and David ran the popular craft tables.

There was plenty of space on the dance floor and our dancers put that space to good use.

Janet was unwell and did not come to this meeting. Fortunately, she recovered in the next few days. Many thanks to Gyda for sorting out the logistics (transporting stuff from our garage to Shrewsbury House) and leading the event.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 9th November at 1pm. Numbers are limited and many safety measures will be in place.

Please note the Shrewsbury House car park should be open for our meeting on 9/11.

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: 8/11/21

This evening we found those cared for were doing reasonably well, but the carers were feeling somewhat worn down.

Mobility issues

If you are a large chap who likes to walk, it is difficult to accept that you are no longer very stable on your feet, you get tired quickly and your wife has a very difficult job to do if you fall down. The wife has received help from a gerontologist (you can read more about gerontology here). Unfortunately, the GP said they couldn’t do anything. The wife is also benefiting from having a carer come in so that she can have a break and do some things for herself.

Recovering from surgery

One of our regulars at this group gave us some feedback on a regular at out Friendship Group. The carer reported that, after a some surgery our group member was back on this feet (and he was dancing the day after at our Friendship Group). He tends to be unstable walking about, but when he had a purpose to his walk, or dance, he became reassuringly stable.

Falling

More on stability: A usually stable wife had recently fallen out of bed and getting her back up was almost impossible. It appears to have been a passing infection, as she has now returned to normal stability. The husband had recently had the norovirus and things she might have had a mild form.

Getting the blame (again)

Mum had just celebrated her 90th birthday, but she blamed her daughter for getting this wrong, as she thought she was only 89. The daughter likes to ensure her mum is warm in her home, but mum complains about the waste of money and turns the heating down as low as she can. Mum likes to prepare meals, often several at a time. This means that the daughter has to throw away unused food, which the mum complains about. The daughter likes to give her mum choice in what she eats, but pointed out mum always used to eat the same meals on each day of the week – the group suggested returning to this format. The daughter is spending a lot of time in the greenhouse talking to the plants.

Dad ok, mum not so

We always say carers need to look after themselves, otherwise they will become unable to care for anyone else. Easy to say, but much harder to see when you are approaching the point where you can no longer cope. The mum, in this case, has moved to a point where she no longer says she doesn’t need help, but not quite to accepting she does need help.

Pictures

A care told us that when she visited her mum at her care home during covid (with her outside and mum on the other side of a window) she took picture books. Mum seemed interested in the familiar pictures, even though she couldn’t say what they were, there was still a positive reaction.

Frustration

Even trained people can get frustrated with their loved ones. At home you can react differently to being in a work environment. If you have dementia you might think being tidy would be a help, but not when you can’t find the things that have been put away.

Using bank cards.

HSBC have been working with the Alzheimer’s Society to develop a card that is easier to use for people with dementia and/or who have sight problems. You can read more here. One of our group has one of these for her day (although no one has used it yet.

Next meeting 13th December

Halloween – 26th October 2021

Today we had a lighthearted Halloween session. Hats were popular as were odd hair styles.

We welcomed Sarah (pictured with Janet and Gyda) and Marc (see below) two of the Reflections trustees.

Tony – our man in black – led the singing with some rousing tunes. “Ring of Fire” went down well, as usual. You can listen to a vintage sing-a-long recording by Tony here:

Gyda came with some of her excellent and easy to make seasonal crafts.

David was about to celebrate his birthday and got in the mood with a dance. Did I mention hats were popular?

We were very pleased to welcome back Marc – our archery marksman.

We also welcomed some more new members this week – the numbers are growing.

Our additional audio input comes from Gyda this week…

Gyda on Letting go of the past:

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 9th November at 1pm. Numbers are limited and many safety measures will be in place.

Please note the Shrewsbury House car park is closed for about two months. Street parking is available.

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 – 12th October 2021

A very big welcome back to the delightful Vikki.

Vikki belted out some classic songs (the quiet ones were good too) and joined in with the dancing.

David’s craft corner moved up a gear, as more clay modellers took up the challenge.

Another fun afternoon, with lots of energetic people.

Our members take dancing seriously. Proper shoes add to the experience.

As usual, the two hours flew by. I did manage to catch Pearl and Gyda for some extra input, below.

Pearl’s octopus:

It was difficult to find a quiet spot while Vikki was singing – al full-on experience.

Gyda on energy:

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on 26th October at 1pm. Numbers are limited and many safety measures will be in place.

Please note the Shrewsbury House car park is closed for about two months. Street parking is available.

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: 11/10/21

The group was particularly busy this evening.

Being naughty

A carer is said she is always in trouble with her mum. She is accused of breaking things and hiding others. A member suggested it sounded just like being treated like a naughty child. This struck a chord. The issue was that mum had started putting things in unusual places, then complaining they weren’t in their usual place. This is a new phase – the carer said she had had enough by 4pm each day. She then admitted she used to be a naughty girl…

To visit or not to visit

We were told a carer’s dad was in a care home. He is bed-bound and has been unable to engage with others since November. His wife is not sure if she wished to continue visiting him, it is too upsetting. The mum has also recently lost a friend. The daughter has not ben able to visit him. Another carer said she could empathise to a degree – she had lost her husband, her mum had received a diagnosis of dementia and she found herself also caring for her mother-in-law – all too overwhelming and she had finally agreed to ask for help with her own mental resilience.

Janet suggested the first carer’s mum might like to join this group. A member said she had found joining us had been useful, even if she sometimes just listened to what others were saying.

Falling

A husband had fallen twice recently. His wife was now worried that if she went out something might happen – at the same time, she realised she needed a break and a little time to herself. They both have “Red buttons”, but he might forget to us it [you can find out more about Greenwich Telecare Service here]. Members suggested engaging neighbours to keep an eye on when the husband might pop out. This had worked for another carer, who was confident that her local support network would call her if they thought there was a problem.

Getting the blame

What do you do if your sister blames you for things that go wrong, or thinks you have done something you shouldn’t? The carer said he continue to do his best, but his own poor health was affecting his ability to cope. He tried to watch for “triggers” that would cause his sister to start react badly – it was tough.

Hearing voices

A father-in-law was continuing to see and attempt to engage with his hallucinations. He said he was not concerned about apparently strange people people appearing and talking to him. His mental health was getting worse and she felt it would soon be time to consider looking for a care home.

Physiotherapy

People with several health conditions can find it difficult to find the support they need. A carer said his dad required help to maintain some mobility, but a selection of physiotherapists had said his case was not appropriate to them, or was not their area of work. The carer was currently engaged in providing support via a physiotherapist on Zoom. He would continue to fight to find suitable support for his dad.

Keeping things neat and tidy

A dad had returned to his habit of putting things in his files. This made him happy and didn’t cause any problems – good news.

Missing letters

Letter from “professionals” sometimes go astray. A carer had decided that she needed to be much more assertive to ensure that she had all the copied of letters that had been sent to her mum.

Next meeting 8th November

Jamie ITMA – 28th September 2021

A very busy session with the usual puzzles etc, plus David’s all new clay crafts and Jamie to entertain us.

Jamie sang a lot of old songs and dressed accordingly. Who remembers Andy Pandy?

We were pleased to welcome Gary (from the Carers Centre) and Sinead (from BLG Mind).

David worked with a group of keen clay modellers to produce some delightful tiles.

David presented Janet with a birthday present – a lovely painting of the two of us at the group.

The dancers enjoyed a variety of dances – these look easy.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on Tuesday, 12th October at 1pm.

Please note the Shrewsbury House car park is closed for about two months. Street parking is available.

If you know someone who has dementia and you think might benefit from coming to the group, please contact us on 07981 741 499. Numbers are limited and many safety measures will continue to be 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 – 14th September 2021

A less frantic group this week. Tony played some popular tunes, with a sprinkling of livelier ones for the dancers.

He is always happy to play requests – if he knows them.

As ever, we had a session of quizzes, word-searches and jigsaw puzzles.

The new member of the group have made the dance floor their own. A few notes on the guitar and they are up and away.

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on Tuesday, 28th September at 1pm.

If you missed the recent Forever Young Festival, you missed a treat. Reflections’ friend Jamie was there in full panto costume. Another group favourite, Emma, had her choir entertaining the audience. The Carers Centre had invited a wide variety of local groups to run stalls, including Reflections. A minor downpour didn’t dampen spirits.

Please note the Shrewsbury House car park will be closed for about two months. Street parking is available.

If you know someone who has dementia and you think might benefit from coming to the group, please contact us on 07981 741 499. Numbers are limited and many safety measures will continue to be 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: 13/09/21

The group was very busy this evening.

Private funding for a care

A carer is trying to find day care and respite for her mother who she is worried about, because of immigration status. She will pay for private care, but is finding it difficult to find anywhere suitable. Suggestions were: MIND/ Greenwich Carers Centre and Care Homes UK. The Alzheimer’s Society’s Help Line “Talking Point” helps people with dementia all over the world
Another carer wishes she had gone to social services earlier, not private. It is wise to involve social services, but have a short list too. Have a consultations with social services.
Tatiana said, when you speak to social services tell them about the homes you are interested in and ask about your finances, if they fall below the threshold and what happens?

NHS dealing with their backlog

A carer’s step father (aged 85) is going in for a hernia operation tomorrow. It was cancelled before in lockdown. She said he is getting a bit unsteady walking about, but he enjoyed the dancing at Reflections last week!

Confusion

A familiar member of the Reflections group hadn’t been seen recently by her brother and sister-in-law as they have been on holiday. She has been confused using her microwave, as it has an oven in it – so she cooked a plastic dish and melted the little ring thing that holds the plate. She has to remember the right function! (an interesting conundrum).
She said she won’t complete the attendance allowance form. Janet reminded the carer that they have  LPA so they can complete it. She has it in her head that lots of people are moving and she doesn’t want to be left on her own, so she phoned the council and they said she could move, As her brother has LPA he can phone the council and explain her needs.
She is independent at the moment but on bad days she gets confused. Her brother brings her ready meals. She now has a Fitbit which she is learning to use.

Planning ahead

A carer has been away and her mum was well cared for while she was away. She says mum has had a dip over the last few months. The daughter has been planning ahead for her mum investigating various care homes. She is concerned about the finances when money runs out and what happens between different boroughs. Who picks up the funding? Tatiana said the different boroughs would have to decide. Another carer said quote the care act if boroughs are in disagreement.

Visiting those cared for

A new carer said her father is in Worthing and she has only seen him once. The home has strict restrictions still and are not flexible on visiting her dad. She is finding the restrictions very difficult. 

Another is trying to look after someone in a high dependancy ward. She is able to visit three times a week.

Stable-ish

A dad is relatively stable at home at the moment. The family haven’t heard from cardiology team, after a considerable wait. Dad has issues with hygiene – he forgets what he has to do. 

Practical considerations

At an easy stage it helps to try and sort out practical things. The Carers Centre is going to look at the attendance allowance and help to gather up evidence. The carer is finding it distressing as its all seems to be negative.
The group advised her to look for the good, what can be done. Once the form has been filled in it’s done. It will help to make life easier. The wife says the rational and emotional side of doing all the paper work is difficult and hard to do. She is trying to see the funny side of some situations. She gets Fridays to see friends it she needs something else to do.

Another carer remembers having get the points for attendance allowance. Theirs was off the scale! 
He has been to Orkney for 10 days while his wife had a live in carer. She didn’t realise he’d been away. She gets agitated but all is fine. 

The Queen Elizabeth and Lewisham hospitals

Janet informed the group of the Dementia nurse (Kate Hudson) at QE. She’s there Monday – Friday, 8.30–5.30. She will go and see the dementia person if you contact her. 


Also if you need to go to hospital A&E you can dial NHS 111 and they will book an appointment for you. QE and Lewisham.

Next meeting 11th October

Elvis in the building – 31st August 2021

This week we had a special visitor – Mr Elvis Presley. He sang everyone’s favourite tunes and got the room singing and dancing.

Janet was keen to have a picture with himself..

Before the entertainment, we had a serious period of quizzes, wordsearches and dominoes.

Our volunteers, David, Julie and Pearl were in top form. No jokes from Pearl this week… so next time we should have a bumper offering.

Everyone was wearing their visors and there was social distancing – but Elvis still managed to generate a great atmosphere.

Gary, from the Carers Centre, was giving confidential advice.

This time we only overran a little bit. Fortunately, the Shrewsbury House cleaning team had plenty of time to sanitise our three rooms before the evening rush.

Gyda stayed afterwards to share this reading:

The Reflections Friendship Group is next at Shrewsbury House on Tuesday, 14th September at 1pm.

Please note the Shrewsbury House car park will be closed for about two months. Street parking is available.

If you know someone who has dementia and you think might benefit from coming to the group, please contact us on 07981 741 499. Numbers are limited and many safety measures will continue to be 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.