This was a very busy session today as many members and other visitors wanted to come and hear our speaker Mr David Jefferys talk about new dementia drugs and also the latest drug which has been announced in the media called Aducanumab. This ground breaking drug could slow Alzheimer’s disease change the lives of thousands of people living with dementia. Biogen’s drug – Aducanumab would be the first treatment to reduce the clinical decline of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lisa introduced David and everyone gave him a warm welcome. David then introduced himself saying a little of his background. He was a Professor of Medicine and then he was asked to do a review of medicines in the UK and ended up doing this for 21 years. He was in charge of medicines licensing and medical equipment in the UK and setting up the European system.

He then decided to retire early and became an advisor to Eisai (which is also called Aricept) and other dementia drugs and became Senior Vice President discovering new drugs and new treatments for dementia and other neurological conditions.

David is also a Councillor for Bromley in charge of The Health & Well Being Board. Members then had the opportunity to ask David various questions. The session then followed with Bingo and David was happy to remain to call out the bingo numbers with Lisa. We are very grateful to David giving his time to attend our session today. Lisa thanked David and also mentioned to everyone that his wife Anne Marie will be the next Master of The Guild of Freemen and we would be delighted to welcome them both again.

Thank you to our volunteers today – Annette, Angela Chen, Theresa and Risom and Dr Angela and Mark

The first Dementia Club session of the New Year went very well. We had a very good attendance, 15 of our members plus two guests Maria and Pam who also brought her cute little dog Lottie to meet all the members.

Muz and Faz had already set out on each table some colouring for members to do whilst they were enjoying their teas and coffees and lovely cakes and biscuits. Lisa welcomed everyone and gave some updates and also thanked all the volunteers.

Muz and Faz then started the session with their colourful table tennis, set up for 8 players. The players were asked to roll, bounce and throw the tennis ball and hit it with tennis rackets to the person sitting opposite. The members that took part enjoyed themselves, as shown in the photos below, and table tennis balls were flying everywhere – keeping the volunteers busy catching the balls. The other members that did not take part were given some pictures to colour using colourful pencils.

The session then continued with the usual sitting down yoga with Richard. Richard did some interesting exercises for about 30 minutes. As usual all the members enjoyed the exercises and all joined in and had a laugh.

The yoga was followed by our new music entertainer Aaron. Everybody joined in the singing. Aaron sang some very popular songs which made quite a few members get up and dance. We had a surprise when Terry, one of our members, took the microphone from Aaron and sang, James also joined him. Aaron then started the music quiz asking members to identify the songs and singers by playing a few notes and if they guessed them correctly then they were asked to throw the large red fluffy dice. The aim of course is to try and throw a six to get a high score and beat the previous score from another dementia club. The members enjoyed themselves by getting a lot of points. Unfortunately the score was not high enough this time. The challenge is always fun.

Thank you to our church volunteers Dorothy and Sue for making teas and coffees and Andrew the church warden for setting up the venue. Thank you also to our Rotarians from Barnet; John, Jim, Malcolm and Victor. Thank you to Muz and Faz for providing fun activities. Also, many thanks to Annette for her assistance, Doctor Rebecca Hatjiosif for her support, plus Lisa and Mark for their continuous support making the Dementia Club at St John’s Church successful.

It was a lovely surprise today when I arrived as the tables and chairs were already set. Thank you to the carers. Lisa gave a warm welcome to everyone and a few programme updates.

Members were then busy with a quiz and some word searches whilst they were enjoying their teas/coffees and cakes. Lisa then had another quiz that Mark had prepared. The questions were challenging but they enjoyed it

Eon then arrived and as usual prepared the chairs ready for members to exercise. The exercises are always great fun and members always feel after that they have worked their body.

This nicely prepares everyone for the music entertainment after. Wayne and Charlie provide a great performance and members have a happy time.

As Lisa had no volunteers today the carers always step in – thank you.

It was a very busy session today and we also had two new members join the group. Lisa introduced the session and gave some great advice to everyone on how best to avoid the Chinese flu called Coronavirus which is spreading at the moment.

Lisa had to leave early for a meeting in London so Muz and Faz from Ping is King ran the rest of the session. As the 75th Anniversary after the Second World War is approaching, James kicked off the session with a fascinating reading about the V2 missile bombings in the war. He gave a recollection of a horrifying incident on the 27th January 1945 when he was at the Savoy Cinema with his younger cousin. They were aged 10 and 8 at the time. There was a huge explosion which brought down the cinema and James and his cousin remember the devastation it caused and the number of people who died. They were lucky but this is a memory they will not forget. A full transcript of James story is below.

Brian also brought in some incredible old pictures of his time in the RAF and shared them around. There were helicopters and planes that had crash landed and it was amazing to hear the stories and see these gripping events captured in real life photos.

Muz and Faz then handed out some colouring and word searches for members. The theme for these activities was the Chinese New Year. This theme continued with a fun packed quiz on China. The quiz was really well received with just the right mix of easy and hard questions, with lots of clues to make sure everyone had a chance. It was lovely to see Krishma getting actively involved. She loved shouting out the correct answers to several questions.

After the quiz, it was Aaron’s turn to entertain everyone and he hosted a lovely afternoon of music entertainment. Everyone had a really enjoyable afternoon with lots of singing and dancing to old classics. There was a technical glitch at one point but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it gave Ernie the chance to take the microphone and sing a lovely Irish song. I later found out that Ernie used to follow his dad around when his dad was performing in pubs which is why he had such a great voice.

Thank you to all our volunteers today, Melvyn, Annette, Marina, Arzu, Angela, Risom and of course Lisa and Mark.

Today we welcomed again Dementia Club UK! We had a few extra visitors – Dr Rebecca Hatjiosif who is a doctor and volunteers at the dementia club offering if people would like their blood pressures checked. We also had another visitor who brought their little dog – Lottie. She is adorable and members enjoyed having her at the session.

Lisa welcomed everybody whilst residents and the visitors tried our wonderful cakes produced by the catering team. Everybody enjoyed Lisa’s quiz which then followed with music entertainment by Aaron. Aaron played some song favourites which got some residents and visitors up dancing. Aaron then followed with a music quiz involving the big red dice and the challenge for members to take a six each throw.

After the music, visitors and the residents had the opportunity to try our fabulous interactive game table. “A good laugh and a cuppa are the two best cures for anything”

Next Dementia Club session at Carlton Court will be on the 18th February, feel free to pop in for a cuppa! Thank you to all the staff for helping throughout the session.