Today’s session was led by Eleanor.

Eleanor talked about a close friend of her brother’s, who had been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 60. Her husband had recently given up work to support her and they were struggling to deal with the reaction of friends who had deserted them in the months leading up to, and following, her diagnosis earlier this year. Eleanor then read an extract from ‘Somebody I Used to Know’, a book published in February 2018 by Wendy Mitchell, who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2015 at the age of 58. It was the second moving account Eleanor had read from Wendy’s book, in which Wendy spoke of the reactions of some of her friends to her illness: a neighbour who had crossed the road when he saw her in her front garden, unanswered emails and friends who no longer sent birthday or Christmas cards. Wendy is the first person to have written a book about her experience of living with dementia and some of our carers expressed surprise that she has such a clear insight into her condition.

By popular request, we then played two games of card bingo called by Eleanor and David, our volunteer who has just qualified as a doctor.

We finished with a general knowledge quiz. As always, we had some fiercely competitive contestants whose wide-ranging knowledge is extremely impressive. It is always pleasing to see so many members and carers joining in!

My thanks to our volunteers, Melvyn, Eva and David, without whose help we could not have run the session and to everyone who made teas and coffees and cleared up afterwards. Eva is now taking a well-deserved holiday until September and we hope she will be back with us at the start of next term if her college timetable permits. David starts his first job at a local hospital on 23 July and we wish him good luck!

This was our first session at the new venue. Some of our regular members visited which was really nice.

Lisa started with a quiz on Food and Drink which members found interesting and prompted discussions about food.

Richard then attended to do some Yoga with members. Richard introduced some bean bag catches which was great fun. The session then followed with Ronnie and his music entertainment and members were now up and dancing. In fact there were also a lot of interesting passers who wanted to join in. It was a successful first session.

Thank you to Mark my husband and one of the Trustees who helped with the session.

It’s been a hot couple of weeks and members who attended today were feeling wilted. The venue however is spacious and airy and this really helped.

Lisa started with a picture quiz which they enjoyed as it was not too hard. They were then given a word and asked to make as many 4 letter words as they could from the word I gave them. This was challenging as each table was competing.

One of the carers – Roopa, made some cakes as it was her special birthday last week. Members were very grateful for the variety of cakes.

Richard then came to do some yoga with members which was really enjoyable and the session then followed with Moshe. Even though it was hot, members still wanted to dance.

We had a new members today. David Graham from the Rotary brought his dad Tony who has dementia and he was also accompanied by the carer Nancy.

Thank you to our Rotarian volunteers – Valerie who is also one of our Trustees and Michael. Also thanks to our other volunteers, Gillian and Sandra, David Brill and of course Risom who is always so helpful.

Dementia Club UK organised a day out for 28 members to have a ride on a steam train through Epping Forest and also cream tea after at North Weald Airfield.

It was a very hot day but our Barnet Community Transport buses were nicely air conditioned. We were met by a tour guide who looked after us during the day and provided us with lots of history and information. Members were also very pleased to go and visit Greensted Church which is the oldest wooden church in the world which goes back to pre-Roman times.

There was also some free time and some went to a pub for some lunch and drinks. The cream tea at the Airfield was fantastic as the scones and cakes were all home-made and it was lovely to sit and watch aeroplanes take off and land.

Members had a very enjoyable day.

It was a very busy session as always. Lisa decorated the tables today with flowers and Union Jack flags. As it was the 4th July we celebrated Independence Day for our American cousins. We also celebrated the NHS's 70th birthday and also England doing well in football. In fact one of the members came to the session with a big England flag celebrating England’s football win yesterday with Colombia.

This was a special day and we also had some special visitors. We had Steve Hitchins- Chairman of Whittington Health who brought with him 3 Clinicians; Emma - Team lead occupational therapist for care of the elderly, Paula - clinical nurse specialist for elderly people, Becs- care for older people consultant. We also had Dr Tamara Djuretic - Barnet Council Director of Public Health. We also had Andy from Tovertafel.

New train game loaded onto the Tovertafel for members of Dementia Club UK
New train game loaded onto the Tovertafel for members of Dementia Club UK

Members were very pleased to see so many visitors.

Lisa started the session giving each table a picture quiz. It then followed with some singing to some favourite songs chosen by members. As members were having a bit of a problem with the quiz Lisa went through the picture quiz with members providing some clues and everyone was then able to get the answers.

The session then followed with Lisa doing some exercises with all the members sitting. Although it was very warm everyone really enjoyed doing the exercises.

It was now time for the Torvetafel and Andy was happy to take over and show members the different games especially the 2 new games - the beach and the steam train.

All the visitors today with our regular members
All the visitors today with our regular members

Everyone had such great fun especially our visitors. I would like to thank our volunteers Mark who helped set up the tables and chairs, our 2 students Karish and Eva, Melvyn, Dr Angela and her friend Melissa who is always so bubbly and engaging with members. I also like to thank our new volunteer David Brill. Also of course thank you to all our visitors today for attending our session.