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Just in time!


Registered User
May 9, 2012
south-east London
For the last few months I've been growing more and more aware that my husband's Monday group for early onset dementia is no longer able to meet his increasing needs.

To be honest, I half expected a call before Christmas to 'wind up' his time with them, so I was surprised when it carried through to this year.

I still knew his time there was limited though, so in January I attended a carers' conference where I was able to find out a lot more about available services.

It seemed that all the groups I wanted to try out meet on a Tuesday, so I ended up booking all Tuesdays off work during February in order to visit them all.

Then, last week, the need to find something new became even more crucial because, for the first time ever, my husband needed assistance to go to the loo at the day centre he attends one day per week. It's not a problem at the day centre, they have carers and it is all part of the service they provide. However, for the Monday group it would be a BIG problem - they simply do not provide that support.

Things didn't improve at home over the weekend, with my husband needing support for every visit to the loo because as he is struggling with his clothing, positioning and being able to clean himself up properly.

As a result, I kept him away from the Monday group yesterday rather than risk an incident there where he would be left to flounder.

Instead, today, we attended one of the Tuesday groups I am trying out this month. It is a memory cafe run by Crossroads and it was absolutely fantastic. Neither of us could get over the welcoming atmosphere, it was like 'coming home' to one big family.

I'd planned to stay an hour, we ended up staying 4hrs, enjoying copious cups of tea, biscuits, banter and even a lovely cooked two course meal. To add to the enjoyment there were a couple of carers from Scotland there, so my husband really enjoyed chatting about 'God's own country' with them.

On the way home he couldn't speak highly enough about the group and is already looking forward to going again (though we will still be trying out the other Tuesday groups this month too).

Anyway, we got home, had a cuppa and the phone rang. It was the organiser of the Monday group - ringing to talk about whether the group was still suitable for him!

I saved her the discomfort of having to say they thought it was time for him to leave. Instead I was able to tell her that I had already reached the same conclusion, that I felt that my husband had 'outgrown' the Monday group and that I had just returned from visiting a fantastic group where he would be very happy - and that there were also others to be looked into too.

I think she was a bit taken aback at first but also happy that plans were in place for the next stage. What could have been a difficult call turned into a positive discussion with us agreeing that my husband would not now return to the group.

He will still see them again though, there is a Singing for the Brain group starting in April and as far as I know he is next on the list to take part (it's just for 12 weeks) so he will get to see folk from the Monday group there.

I am definitely glad that I had started the search for a new group - and feel so lucky to have found something just in time!
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Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
Planning ahead or being prepared for change is definitely smart with this illness. Things can change so quickly. Some daycentres are exclusively for dementia and not phased by much while others have a variety of clients from loneliness to more serious issues.

Your new centre sounds very promising.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
That's great, Lynne. Our Singing for the Brain group in East London was originally also only intended for a short period of time. Years later, it's still going strong and very popular!


Registered User
May 9, 2012
south-east London
That's great, Lynne. Our Singing for the Brain group in East London was originally also only intended for a short period of time. Years later, it's still going strong and very popular!
Oh definitely a popular group here too Beate. It has been running for two or three years now - the problem is that it is so popular, with such a long waiting list, that they limit people to a 12 week stint then they go to the bottom of the list again.

I'm really keen for him to take part as I think it might help with his communication. I am not too worried about what will happen after the 12 weeks because one of the other groups I'll be looking at lists singing amongst its activities.

Also, when I mentioned singing at the Crossroads group we attended today they were quite open-minded about getting it going again. They had tried it before when the group was new, but at that time there weren't many members so it didn't really take off. They have more members now, so it might be time to try again. :)

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