1. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,882
    Female
    Scotland
    The first time I took John to one of these groups he took fright at so many people much further down the dementia road. We made a swift exit to the pub for lunch. However I decided to give it another go as he is a wee bit further down that road now himself.

    Today we timed it so that there would be no hanging about before the start and the singing began as soon as we arrived. Hilarious! Everyone sang their hearts out and the old lady near me banged her maracas so hard the balls flew across the floor. The best choir on the south side of Glasgow. John joined in "singing like a lintie" as we say here.

    Needless to say there was a star. Harry stood up and told a couple of good jokes then sang "some enchanted evening" beautifully. Good reminder of the talents some people can hang onto. Interesting to me that John has not mentioned those who were clearly more severe cases. Perhaps he is less aware already.

    I would strongly recommend going to as many groups as you can as socialising lifts your spirits.
     
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,512
    Female
    England
    Socialising with dementia is good for both sufferer and carer. I found I was far more at ease and able to enjoy being with people. You loose the constant watching just in case, you are with people who understand and accept.

    Long may you be able to join in and enjoy the pleasure of socialising together.

    Jay x
     
  3. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,687
    Female
    Dundee
    I can't agree enough! Bill and I are not long home from our weekly Musical Memories Choir. It's organised and funded by Alzheimer Scotland and is great fun. It's for people with dementia and their carers. We both thoroughly enjoy it. We did a concert at Christmas and are preparing for another on the summer.

    On Tuesday we're beginning 10 week block with Scottish Opera. This is also through Alz Scot. Not sure what's involved as yet but it seems it's based around Madam Butterfly. We're seemingly putting on a performance at the end of the 10 weeks!:eek:

    Bill's dementia is fairly advanced now but he still loves music.

    Long may this and your own activities continue.
     
  4. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,687
    Female
    Dundee
    I just re-read your post and saw that you're in Scotland too!

    I almost said that Bill was singing like a lintie this afternoon!!:D
     
  5. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,658
    North West
    Agree entirely. We now attend two weekly singing sessions. They are remarkable. You can see people light up as they sing a favourite song. We have a former opera singer in one of the groups. She still has a tremendous voice.

    Although my wife has got beyond the stage where she was able to remember vast numbers of lyrics, she's still able to sing along after a fashion and occasionally a phrase will emerge which is pretty spot-on lyrically and musically.

    I have also appreciated the extraordinary variety of characters we meet and the fact that no-one turns a hair if something unexpected happens. Mostly people who clearly have the potential to get agitated are usually calm and relaxed.

    Give it a go if there's an opportunity near you.
     
  6. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    I am cross. There is a similar group in the next town from us which I've suggested dad takes mam to. But when you ring the venue to enquire about it, you're told that it's not very well attended - only two or three people go. So understandably dad is put off.

    Why do they tell you that?! It'll put most people off, with the result that the group will never expand.

    I suggested that dad try to drum up some other people to agree to attend and give it a go one week - other carers that he knows, but he's reluctant to do that for some reason. Maybe he doesn't want to put people on the spot.

    I'm glad other people are enjoying their singalongs.
     
  7. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,427
    i'd really like to see them bring singing to the ch where my mum is. She sung for years and in dementia sometimes sings away to herself.
     
  8. Noorza

    Noorza Registered User

    Jun 8, 2012
    6,542
    Some Alzheimer's Society branches have "Singing for the Brain" sessions, I don't know which ones or any other details but worth calling your local AS to see what's available near to you. I am not posting in as a moderator just information gleaned along the journey.
     
  9. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,658
    North West
    Both the sessions we attend are 'singing for the brain' groups.

    A couple of other 'choirs' run by churches that we have attended have not been as good, though in one of them the people are very welcoming. The two groups we enjoy are run by music professionals who have been trained in singing for the brain and this can make a big difference.

    Like Noorza, I would really encourage people to contact their local AS group to see if there's a group nearby.

    There doesn't seem to be a national list. This would be really helpful too.

    Also someone recently posted this link:

    http://www.memorycafes.org.uk/

    There is a facility for these cafes to include music and singing in their details. If you have no sftb in your area, a dementia cafe with singing might be the next best thing.
     
  10. Barlemo

    Barlemo Registered User

    Apr 23, 2012
    74
    My husband and I attend a singing for the brain group. We both enjoy it immensely.
     
  11. rozz

    rozz Registered User

    Nov 23, 2009
    11
    West Midlands
    #11 rozz, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
    Starting a new singing for the brain group!

    Very excited as today I and my sister are going to the first session of Singing for the Brain in Bridgnorth. We are volunteers supporting the leader, and putting out the tables, making drinks, and meeting and greeting. We had a training session last week, and are now looking forward to the event. It's not a full session yet, but I hope everyone who has booked turns up!:) Our mum and dad both have dementia, and love to sing still, and we both love music- will keep posting of how it goes!

    Only 2 more sessions left. The group has grown, physically and emotionally. We all get on so well, and the chat is animated and friendly. Singing is brilliant, nothing is too hard for this group. Thinking of having 'afternoon tea' on our last session before the summer. Have made some 'song discs' of titles of songs in song book, with pictures of record sleeves, recording artists. Put them on table when we are having a drink, and they can prompt people to think about the songs, and talk about them and what they mean to them.
     
  12. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    Best of luck and well done rozz :)

    Look forward to hearing how it goes :cool:
     
  13. rozz

    rozz Registered User

    Nov 23, 2009
    11
    West Midlands
    #13 rozz, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
    it went well, but not many turned up, hopefully more next week. The people who came were lovely, but outnumbered by us volunteers. We had a good cuppa and a chat, and a great sing. Looking forward to this week. :)

    Right, did our 4th week, yesterday, and it is growing, each week, 2, by 2! The group are really getting to know one another, and there is a buzz of conversation. People are bringing other people along. There were 6 couples yesterday, and it was lovely. Our lead singer is really getting into it, and lovely welcoming songs, warm ups, tongue twisters, songs from memory, songs from the book, and topical songs, or requests. One carer asked for Some Enchanted Evening, as that had been playing when he first saw his wife. There were tears! We sang Delilah with great gusto and percussion! It's such good therapy for EVERYONE! - my sister and I are having a stressful time at the moment with our father who is in hospital again, and it did us both good!
     
  14. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,882
    Female
    Scotland
    Word of mouth really works in sessions like this Rozz so keep going and talking to all and sundry about it and the word will spread.
     
  15. paulineanna

    paulineanna Registered User

    Oct 25, 2013
    12
    west Lancashire
    My husband absolutely loves the "singing for the Brain" session we go to on a Tuesday afternoon, sometimes during the week he will ask if we are going singing today. I thoroughly enjoy the sessions as well, really good sing and laugh. Our names were put forward by the Dementia Adviser as you have to be referred. There are people who are further along the road but somehow they still remember words to songs from long ago. It's amazing.:)
     
  16. jawuk

    jawuk Registered User

    I'm going with my husband for the very first time this coming Wednesday afternoon. He used to be a superb musician laying both acoustic and dobro guitar, banjo and mandolin, mostly bluegrass and so I'm not sure whether the songs at the group will please him but I'm really hoping that he can hum along. He can no longer read so a songsheet won't help. He definitely needs to socialise more and get some stimulation so all my fingers are crossed that it goes well.
     
  17. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,882
    Female
    Scotland
    Jawuk can he still play any of his instruments? At our group we have a few people who " perform" one of whom always plays a drum and gets a round of applause which pleases him no end and another who really is a star turn. Harry I have mentioned before is a natural comedian and a beautiful singer.

    I would also mention to the community workers if he has a special liking for any type of song which others could join in. I would love to hear some blue grass and that would definitely get the hands and feet tapping!
     
  18. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,687
    Female
    Dundee
    I out this on Bill's thread but I couldn't resist adding it here. This is the Alzheimer Scotland choir we go to every Friday afternoon. Bill absolutely loves it and sings his heart out. He was never a singer in days gone by but now music is his favourite thing. We're in the front row. I'm wearing a red jumper, jeans and red boots. Bill is next to me In the blue jumper.

    image.jpg
     
  19. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,882
    Female
    Scotland
    Fabulous photo! You all look as if you are having a great time.,
     
  20. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,687
    Female
    Dundee
    It's such good fun. We're putting on a concert at the end of June - a night at the musicals! The chap who leads the choir strikes a good balance. He puts in enough challenge for those who don't have dementia and enough good old singing for those who do. :D
     

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