I recently attended the Forget Me Not Ball, which was a fundraiser for Dementia UK. It was a fantastic event for a good cause — and we had fun too!
Kudos to fellow WHYse woman Clare Ellism, who organised the event – from singers and dancers, to a “people’s choir” – dressed as the people holding down the home front during the war – as well as great raffle prizes, made the night something to remember!
Music and Dementia
However, the real star of the night and the reason the ball took place was Clare’s mother, who lives with dementia.
As she walked into the room on Clare’s arm, there was a Glen Miller tune playing and her response was immediate – her eyes brightened, she smiled and began bobbing her head and swaying to the music. For those few moments, Clare’s mother was fully present and enjoying herself. The sight left a few of us misty-eyed; we got a glimpse of the woman locked behind the dementia.
The video below talks about my impressions of the night, as well as suggestions as to how to assist people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s to have an improved quality of life, even as their memories grow dim.
If you continue to the end of this — there’s an extra treat for you!
If you’d like to make a donation to Dementia UK, just click on the link below:
I had the pleasure of attending my eighth annual conference of the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (BAATN) recently; as always it was both a joyful and painful experience, but again, as always I went away uplifted by the experience.
Each year a particular theme is chosen and this year’s theme centred around past and present trauma and it’s effect on those who practice psychotherapy and counselling. The subject was particularly poignant as the WIndrush scandal had broken recently, as well as the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Witnessing the Cries of the Heart
The format of the conference was unusual, in that rather than listening to several short lectures, we watched a video – a collage of African, Caribbean and south Asian people recounting their traumas that resulted from events such as slavery and the British Raj in India; generational traumas that are still echoing in the psyches of people of colour until today.
The video below talks a little bit about the experience – in general terms – of the process of enabling a healing space for those who usually hold such a space for others.