Diary – Music and Memories

Wednesday 8th June 2022

Have you ever thought about music?

Music and our memories have a powerful connection .

Music can ignite emotional memories. everyone remembers songs from their past, where you were…a holiday perhaps, even your wedding track. Music that reminds of your parents, your children…So many memories captured in music

Music can have many benefits in the setting of dementia. It can help reduce anxiety, depression bringing back happy memories.

Most importantly, listening to music provides enjoyment and entertainment.

Music should be tailored to the choices of individuals, for instance Vera Lynne is not really my erra. I have a wide selection on music choices some of which are very recent.

Each individual will have their own choices of music …we are not all the same! We are all different!

Living with early onset dementia, some people automatically put you in the war time song category, because you have dementia.

I’m in my 50’s so not my choice of music, having said that I do like some music from that era and most probably would sing along.

Personally I would like to choose my own music, not be told what I have to listen too.

So why not create a playlist of all YOUR favourite songs.

You don’t have to record them, just jot down the music artists or individual tracks you like

There are many stories and examples where music in care homes have effectively brought people together, stimulating memories.

Memorable stories of individuals who were withdrawn, become more alert by listening to their favourite music, so there are positive benefits from music.

So get your pen and paper out, think of all your favourite tracks, jot them down…It could take you a while!

Just think of the enjoyment you are having listening and reminiscing your favourite tracks

When I was a young girl I sometimes attend the camping club socials with my grandparents and aunties and uncles. I used to love joining in and learning the dances.

The breakaway blues always brings back fond memories of those days. The track below reminds me so much of the atmosphere, dancing, laughter and fun. Everyone would take their own drinks and food for supper. Happy Memories.

So the track below even though old, brings back fond memories of my grandparents

Memories of me and my girls dancing and having fun is the next track, holidays and Saturday mornings tv, dancing around our living room.

So many memories in music, even special occasions like our wedding

Music is just a wonderful memory aid, it helps us to restore some of our wonderful memories that we keep deep inside.

Diary – Future Care

Care Home or Our Home

Tuesday 7th June 2022

Last week I talked about making my Will and making it a fun experience rather than a somber one.

This week I thought I would talk about care…My future care.

Me and hubby have had several conversations , the main one being having to be moved to a care home if I ever become to difficult to care for.

Our own expectations of care, and where we would like to be cared for will differ. What may suit one person, may not suit another.

My concern or should I say fear, is that I have to go into a care home.

I can not imagine being in a place that is not my own, without the smell of my bleach and polish! Cleaning has always been a bit of an obsession with me!

I definitely need my home comforts around me to feel safe, secure and happy

I wrote a poem sometime ago regarding how i would feel if i had to move from my home.

We all need to think of our future care as we never know when we may need it.

As we go through life i suppose we never really think of care, until we possibly need someone to care for us.

Again it’s one of those conversations that is brushed under the carpet or sometimes never even talked about.

After several conversations, we have come to an agreement that I will be cared for at home, with help from carers if needed.

Then I thought wouldn’t it be good if I could interview my own carer. It would be lovely if i could actually meet the person now whom would be caring for me as i can build a relationship with the carer. they would also get to know me and the things i like and dislike. unfortunately i have to be realistic, that will not happen, as i am a long way off being cared for …Well i hope so!

I have no worries about hubby or my daughters wanting what is best for me, when the time comes…If the time comes. I am sure hubby will be an excellent judge of character if carers are needed.

I think i will be too!

My latest podcast is also available – Holiday with Dementia

https://shows.acast.com/too-young-for-dementia/episodes/holiday-and-dementia

Diary – So much to think about

Monday 6th June 2022

There is so much to think about when you start to think about the care you might need in the future

My Lasting Power of Attorney was completed within days of me receiving my diagnosis, this was advised by my doctor straight after I received my diagnosis of Early onset Dementia.

I think the doctor scared us into sorting out my lasting power of attorney, making my diagnosis sound like it was the end.

We didn’t want to really think about, making a Will or even my future care. After all i had just been recently diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s and that was enough to deal with!

It wasnt until 3 years later i realised whilst having converstaions with my Amigo friends, the importance of having things set into place.

I would hate to think that any of our family would be falling out over decisions that may have to be made.

Decisions that I could make and put in place.

After all this is my care, my funeral arragements, my finances, my medical preferences, oh and my organs!

All these decisions are very personal to each individual.

So think about what You may need. Don’t be afraid to discuss with famiy before it is too late. It is not depressing or sad to talk about our future care…Well it could be sad if you make it that way!

Make it fun…have a joke, look on the bright side. Just think everything could be put into place by you.

So when the time comes…If the time comes… All the important decisions will have been made.

When you sit back and think, there are so many things that could be sorted out and put into place now

Lasting Power of Attorney

Will writing

Personal Care

Do Not Resusitate

Organ Donation

Funeral Preferences

Financial

Practical

There are lots of things you can add that maybe very useful.

These can be anything from leaving a spare key with someone you trust, to where the stop cock is situated in your home.

How things like security alarm works, gardening tips, who is our insurance with, who will look after pets if needed. Wow…So much to think about.

I have decided to keep a box file in a secure place. The beauty of this is I can add and change things as and when needed, or hubby can if i cant.

Have you made a bucket list?

Possibly thinking about things you would love to achieve.

Places you would like to visit.

Mine is a very simple bucket list,

To raise as much awareness as possible.

Dementia does not instantly mean the End!

I can live…Have Fun and still achieve!

On my bucket list, i would like to see all of my grandchildren achieve and grow.

I would like to visit as many places that I can in the UK that i have never even been too.

I have many things to do…Interesting places to visit, also watch my favourite little people grow, achieve and flourish. (grandchildren)

So that’s gonna keep me busy for quite a while yet.

It’s the simplest of things that mean so much now

The big flashy holidays to the other side of the world are not important, plus I wouldn’t enjoy the upheaval of long flights and long hotel stays.

Home comforts is all I need.

Below are some useful links that you may find interesting

https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/helping-you-to-decide/about-organ-donation/get-the-facts/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/do-not-attempt-cardiopulmonary-resuscitation-dnacpr-decisions/

Diary – Platinum Jubilee

Friday 3rd June 2022

I don’t normally write my diary the day after the event. I found that it puts to much pressure on me to complete in time for publishing .

Yesterday was a special day, so deserved preferential treatment, after all it was the Queens Platinum Jubilee.

I can remember VE Day celebrations that took place while we was in lockdown, which brought our little community together, but yet at a distance. We all partied in our gardens, it was just a great day

As the shops where closed, I sat for hours sewing bunting, out of my left over pieces of material. It took me hours, it wasn’t just the sewing, it was dementia interfering with the cutting out and preparation work that took the time.

This year things are different, there is no lockdown to keep us locked away in our homes. People are off on holiday, they are making the most of a longer bank holiday break. Many attend parties further afield, as we are free to move around.

Life now has just returned to how it was before the lockdown,

Over the last weekend I decided I would make an effort and trim the front of the house in red, white and blue bunting. It was nice to see other neighbours decorating their homes.

The houses look wonderful in Red, White and Blue all in celebration for the Queens Platinum Jubilee

Thursday morning we watch the trooping of the colour and the fly past on tv, which was amazing. I bet the atmosphere in London was electric.

I am craving for some sort of excitement, we look on the internet and social media to see what is on locally, both me and hubby spot the tram parade later in the afternoon.

The convoy of trams are due to set off from Blackpool Pleasure Beach at 2.30pm and will travel down the line, stopping at the Tower at 3pm, then on to Little Bispham turning circle which is around 10 minute away if that.

The turning circle is 5 minutes away from where we live, so looks like we have a plan for our afternoon celebrations.

At 3pm we arrive at Little Bispham and already the crowds have descended

Hubby spots a quieter spot which will be good for viewing and taking photos

We stand amongst other people, some complaining that the trams are late. Never rely on public transport!

I must say we had been stood for quite a while before the first tram arrived.

Camera at the ready, click, click, click as the trams slowly approach the turning circle.

Yes! this is the atmosphere I have been craving for. Everyone is waving, with big beaming smiles, apart from some not so friendly serious photographers. I grunt under my breath, most probably shake my head ignore and carry on regardless. I let the exitment and positivity of others overtake the negative grumps.

We had a wonderful time viewing the trams.

It was just a fantastic hour of being swept away in the moment of the platinum jubilee celebrations

Later in the evening there where fireworks from the top of Blackpool Tower and also the lighting of the becon, unfortunately it was far to late for me, plus fireworks are a little on the loud side now

It has been wonderful to watch on tv all the ceremonies and interesting documentaries that have been produced.

The best bit was observing the tram prosession and being part of the wonderfully happy atmosphere as people come together to celebrate the Queens 70 years of service

Diary – Daughters and Grandchildren

Thursday 2nd June 2022

Spending time with my daughters and grandchildren is always a joy.

Eddie and me

My grandson Eddie is doing amazingly well at junior school he has been selected to attend High school for a maths booster session for the gifted and talented children.

My other grandson loves drawing and showed me some fabulous drawings of Sonic the Hedgehog ( should have taken photos!) as I was distracted from chitter chatter.

Adam who is 4 is an absolute joy, makes me smile so much. All he talked about was His Burnley! As he touches the badge on his football shirt, growing into a right little character

Zach is a whirlwind. At 2 years old, he is into anything and everything…accidents galore with this one, as he falls of the slide! Definitely keeps you on your toes!

Think he could be a stunt man when he’s older!

All in all I am super proud of them all. All so different with their own little personalities.

Relationship between grandparents and grandchildren are just so special, they say they keep you young! I don’t know about that…they make me realise I’m not as young as I used to be!

One thing I love is their reaction when the door opens, we stand and look at one another and their faces light up. The biggest beaming smile, then the hug that just means so much.

Really they are sneakily looking in my bag for chocolate!

Just gotta Love them ❤️

I saw this quote somewhere

Your Children are your rainbows

Your Grandchildren are your pot of gold

What a wonderful quote ❤️

Diary – Enjoying Myself

Wednesday 1st June 2022

Last week I was back recording with my Amigo friends.

Our discussion was Sleep and Dementia. Always a joy to meet up, see smiley faces, have a laugh and a joke and record informative topics regarding our own experiences of living with dementia. Hopefully we are bringing much needed information and awareness.

We have quite a few videos available to watch on YouTube now. Here is the link to our latest recording below

Thursday i was back in the Office with everyone from The Peter Lyttle Foundation, feels great to be back! We hold on to all the positives we took from Dementia Week. Now it is time to do some planning.

Time to plan when, where and how, we can start a crafting group.

So much to think about, good job Anne is around for support.

Great to be working alongside someone that is on the same wavelength, which makes life so much easier.

We are singing from the same hymn sheet as they say!

Anne has lots of knowledge of dementia, doesn’t try and take over, she always asks for my opinion and is respectful that I still have a voice.

So I cannot wait for all our ideas to be put into place

We are hoping to have a group session very soon if everything goes to plan.

I can not wait to get started…creating and raising awareness as we craft. Dementia doesn’t mean the end. You have to think of dementia as a new chapter in life. Giving you opportunities to try new things.

You still can achieve…You just have to Believe!

So Excited!

I have been craving to get involved with something to raise more awareness of Early onset Dementia, whilst enjoying and proving you can still learn.

Hoping to learn some new crafting skills myself. Nothing like trying out something new…I’m gonna be in my element!

Diary – Join me on my visit to the Zoo

Tuesday 31st May 2022

Last Tuesday I walked the dogs around 7am, under very grey cloudy sky’s, but by 10am the sun was trying its best to break free.

Time for a trip to the zoo.

After the busy week last week with Dementia action week. Then all the sorting and clearing out over the weekend, a morning out will do me good.

I arrive at the zoo just before 10.30am and make my way over to the Lions and Tigers only to find empty enclosures…I had forgotten about the death of one of the lions and also that the remaining lion and tiger one being housed at another zoo. Blackpool zoo are working on improvements to the big cats enclosure, so I was a little saddened as I walked away.

The otters soon took my mind to a much cheerier place as the rolled and played with one another in the water…They are such Characters, very entertaining.

One little girl stood next to me kept shouting “ kill it! kill it!” Which I thought was a little uncalled for, as I gave her a sideways glance. I decided to move towards the Apes, where it looked quieter.

I just love Apes and monkeys they are so comical. I could stand watching for hours, but not today there are too many school trips arriving!

Think this Orangutan had had enough as he tried his best to cover himself with what looked like curly wood shavings.

As I move on to the Gorillas he blows me a kiss! Not really but it did look that way.

The Gorillas had all moved indoors as the crowds of children descended. I escaped towards the penguins spotting some very cute goslings on my way

The penguins where friendly today, making an appearance at the glass, diving in and showing off their skills

I watch them and they watch me, I wonder what they think when all the visitors are constantly staring through the glass.

Next I spot the heron, I wondered if he was nesting, with twigs in his mouth.

On to the Kangaroo and Wallaby enclosure where a Magpie was sharing a drink along side the albino Wallaby.

I move through the zoo leaving the excitable school children behind.

No Red Pandas out today, they where all curled up fast asleep, a little disappointed they are not around, as the Red Pandas are one of my favourites.

The Anteater is out and about, I don’t hang around long as for some reason I really don’t like them.

I spot a very cute fluffy fury baby, which distracts me from the Anteater.

I stop and stand watching, as he swinging and playing, generally getting up to no good. Mum grabs him and puts him in his place. He is just like a little inquisitive toddler .

I can hear a loud speaker over by the sea-lion enclosure, so i toddle off to see what’s happening. Two of the sea-lions are performing, catching hoops, clapping their flippers, they are very clever and seem to enjoy performing. Could be the tasty treats!

My phone rings, it’s hubby letting me know we have a delivery arriving. Good timing, I was on my out

Just time to see the Lemurs before I leave.

I didn’t see all the animals today but there is always next time!

Diary – Trying to get back to normal

Monday 30th May 2022

Over the weekend I have been so busy, trying to get the house back to some form of normality after the build of our extension.

Before the build began, lots of our household items where boxed up and placed in our loft. We moved furniture around to clear the complete kitchen area. So things have been a little bit topsy turvy for the last 12 months.

Over the weekend I decided now the kitchen area is complete, things needed to be put back in their place, boxed up for charity or even put to one side for a car boot sale.

I knew the job was not going to be a quick or easy, but it had to be done.

First I need my early morning walk.

A very early walk this morning to see the sunrise down at Skipool Creek.

Whoops! Saturday forgot to make notes for my diary so can’t remember what I did apart from going to watch the sunrise. Luckily I have my photos to remind me of the beautiful sunrise.

Sunday I started in one of the bedrooms, I was determined one to make more wardrobe space by removing any clutter and clothes we had not worn for ages…I really don’t know why I keep somethings …Attachment I suppose.

The big baggy jumper which has seen better days, I might have loved the jumper once of a day …but really! It just has to go!

The clothes that don’t fit, the ones that have sat there for years taking up space, again have to go!

I have bags for rubbish, bags for recycling. Clothes everywhere I have created a catastrophe! Will I ever get the room back to normal?

I complete after lunch with a sigh of relief.

My favourite, comfy items of clothing can be found easily as my clothes have now been condensed.

The feeling of achievement.

Clutter free and dust free.

I make a start on the other bedroom later in the day, which I finish off Monday along with the loft.

Then Tuesday I sort out house hold items in the loft that could possibly be taken to a car boot sale.

So after a good few days, rooms, cupboards and storage spaces are again clutter free.

Most importantly at last my house feels clean from the layers of dust that has kept on reappearing from the building work.

Hubby has now made a start on our cloakroom and toilet area, last phase of our extension. Well apart from the rendering of the outside and the new fencing panels and gate that need to be installed.

Unfortunately some jobs are on hold, waiting for building supplies.

Hubby dugout for all the fencing post only to receive an email that the fencing panels could not be delivered until mid June!

This build has definitely been challenging at times…life would be boring without a challenge!

Tell you something this kitchen is keeping me physically fit.

My daily steps are up!

All the walk round looking for things!

My latest podcast is now available – Making My Will

https://open.acast.com/public/streams/62436d750d52760014eb5758/episodes/628c8c025c900f00121e3058.m4a

Diary – Dementia Action Week

Friday 27th May 2022

I have not been this busy for such a long time.

Last week was Dementia Action Week, which had slipped my mind until i checked my diary on Monday morning.

Then I realised my diary was quite full …it was going to be a busy week!

I have not done any local stands, talks, campaigning face to face since before the first lockdown came into force, so I am both excited and a little nervous.

The last 3 years of my dementia chapter has been sometimes difficult and challenging. Not only the lockdown disrupting my life, but also finding who I really am, now my sidekick Alzheimer’s has come into my life.

I would be lying if I said it was easy, then again life isn’t easy living with or without dementia.

Life is all about what YOU make of it.

Over the lockdown period I have met some very inspirational people over zoom. People that have inspired me to achieve whilst living with dementia.

I have had some real good times!

I have also faced challenging times.

In life we never stop learning from our experiences. Does it matter if they are good or bad experiences, what’s important we are learning, learning about ourselves and others

Be comfortable with who you are

Do what YOU are comfortable with

YOU are YOU…So be YOU!

Funny how sometimes life goes round, what didn’t fit a couple of years ago now fits perfectly.

The missing piece of the puzzle finally clicks into place.

Now feeling comfortable with my dementia, more relaxed with myself, I’m back!

This week has been non stop talking!

Monday I was preparing my crafts for a display that would be set up on The Peter Lyttle Stand at the Bee Anytime, Time for tea.

This event would be raising awareness of dementia.

What services are available, bringing people together and making those important connections.

I had got so comfortable with talking to a computer screen, made me doubt if I would be able to do face to face speaking again.

Funny how things just fall into place as people approach our stand asking questions about who we are and what we do.

The whole day was brilliantly organised, by Jackie Burberry of Enhanced Primary Care and Denise Lowe of BeeAnytime Services.

You just had to look around the room to see the enjoyment on peoples faces. Just fabulous!

I really wish I had taken more photos, unfortunately I was that busy talking to people I forgot!

We had a fantastic day, sharing information, chatting and forming new links.

The singing group Harmony and Health choir where brilliant, they got everyone jigging to the music, and taking part.

There where so many people, businesses and services which supported the event, which just shows that together, we can support and achieve.

Raising awareness didn’t stop there.

No time for resting this week, Friday was another date in my diary

Dementia Action Trinity Hospice

Maxine the Admiral nurse had asked if I would kindly donate a fairy house for the newly opened allotments…of course I jumped at the chance of making one of my creations

Trinity Hospice and Palative Care where hosting this special garden party Friday at the new allotments

Another wonderful opportunity to bring people together to grow, just part of Dementia Action Week.

The allotments are absolutely fantastic and a credit to all those involved in donating and creating.

What a fantastic space, to do a spot of gardening or just sit relax and chat.

Another successful day of making connections

So after a busy week my head is overflowing with ideas and a little fuzzy fog that my sidekick kindly shared with me. I don’t mind as it’s been a very productive, super exciting, positive week.

Diary – Make your will a positive experience

Thursday 26th May 2022

Will making for me has been one of those things that I have kept putting off. Me and hubby have discuss making our Wills for the past 3 years. We have those little discussions, but never seem to go any further.

The subject is changed only to be forgotten about until the subject resurfaces.

So the other week after talking with my Amigo friends, I changed my mindset and contacted a solicitor, only to wait and wait for a reply.

After a week or so I decided to sack the first solicitor and go with one more local to where we live now.

Within a week we have an appointment that was convenient for me and hubby to attend together

I must say our solicitor was such a cheerful happy person, which made the whole process quite a jolly one.

Also turns out she was at the same school as Hubby and lived just down the road from where we originally lived before moving to the Fylde.

Our solicitor made us feel relaxed, a wonderful experience of making our Will together, not somber and depressing but quite uplifting.

A true sense of accomplishment as we walked out the door.

I don’t know why we have had this aversion to Will making and planning my future care but we have.

Just because you plan your care or make a Will does not mean the end is upon you!

I think everyone should make a Will sooner rather than later.

You don’t have to have a terminal illness to make a Will, you can be perfectly fit and healthy.

Then once your Will is made… that’s it done!

All filed away with the solicitor until is needed… Which hopefully in my case will be along time off

So that’s My Power of Attorney complete, My Will Completed. Now I just need to complete my future care plan, which I am on with at the moment.

All these things that I am putting into place now, will make life so much easier for anyone involved in my future care

These are all MY choices.

No one else is making the decisions for me…Why should they!

After all this is my life, so why not choose my ending.