20 Jul 2015

Published by Alison Watson-Shields on

This morning at Young At Heart we held our very first session based on the Cognitive Stimulation Therapy book “Making A Difference” published by The Journal of Dementia Care. The first session theme is ‘physical activities’ and for our physical activities I provided quoits and skittles.

The morning started with a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits while we all got comfortable in our new surroundings – we are now in the main hall in St. John’s Church as we have outgrown the small side room we used to be based in. Once everyone was settled with their hot drinks we orientated ourselves by discussing the day, month, year, season, weather and our location as well as a few articles from the news in the last few days. News stories that were mentioned included the tragic passing of Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi, as well as the controversial picture of the Queen as a child giving what appears to be a Nazi salute. This was discussed at great length and the group whole-heartedly agreed that they felt the picture was being taken out of context and that media had sensationalised something from pre-war Britain that, at the time, would not have been considered offensive – what do you think?

After we caught up with the news stories that had caught the attention of group members we played a game to get to know each other, as we had some new members. The group had a light-weight plastic ball that they rolled to each other across the table (the original idea had been to throw the ball to each other but the size of the tables in the hall deterred us) and when you got the ball you had to share some information about yourself. We started by sharing our names, which is obviously important, and followed that up with information about where we have lived, professions, favourite sports, favourite colours and finally favourite foods. This led to a lengthy discussion about fish and chips from The Almighty Cod in Seaton Carew.

With time pressing by we moved our attention to the ‘physical games’ which were set up and ready for us to play. The members and some carers took it in turns to play skittles and quoits and tally up their scores, while listening to the popular 1980’s hit single “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John. These games are important because they incorporate movement, touch and simple calculations. After 15 minutes of playing the games the group were getting a little dispondent so we joined together around the middle table to share our scores and chat about our plans for next week, before bringing the session to a close.

The theme for next week is ‘Sounds’ and we will be having a short quiz based on TV Themes from the 1970’s and 1980’s. We may also have some other sounds thrown in for good measure, depending on what I can get access to.

Feedback for today’s session was very positive, with people enjoying the varying activities and the structured format so the session next week will be of the same format. Please feel free to provide feedback, both positive and negative, as we are all learning together and it is your group.

Thank you to everyone who came along today and I look forward to welcoming you all next Monday morning between 10am and 11:30am for our Young At Heart ULO meeting for people with dementia and their carers.

Categories: YAHBlog

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