We had 32 members this evening. Lisa welcomed everyone and also introduced and welcomed her 2 visitors - Helen Newman -  CEO Age UK Barnet and Avinash Mandalia – Welfare and Advice Manager at Sangam centre. Lisa also welcomed her Trustees and also welcomed Andrew Wrensch- Community Development Manager at Carlton Court Care Home and also Eshwan Seedoyal – Barnet Memory Service Team Leader.

During the first half hour from 7pm, Lisa first asked Helen to say a few words and then Avinash. Members then had the opportunity to ask some questions. Both Helen and Avinash gave a brief summary of the services they provide. Age UK Barnet was recently awarded the contract by Barnet Council to provide dementia services from the 1st April and the Sangam centre are celebrating 50 years this year. Members were interested to hear about the respite for carers offered by Age UK Barnet.  Avinash briefly summarised some of the services especially the counselling services provided for people who need help with depression, violence and abuse, divorce, bullying etc. They provide 14 sessions free of charge.  Lisa congratulated both Helen and Avinash and mentioned how important it was for organisations to work together and help as many people as possible especially after the very difficult year we had with the pandemic. Lisa wished them both well. There was not enough time for all questions but Lisa assured everyone that there will be an opportunity again to continue questions at 8pm after Andrew’s seminar. Lisa also reminded everyone about the Pay Pal competition and asked Nick (one of the Trustees) to provide further explanation.

Lisa further assured everyone that she will write her report at the end of the evening and will attach and email to everyone any attachments from Age UK Barnet and the Sangam centre and also information and advice about the Smile. Amazon and Pay Pal.

At 7.30pm Andrew started his seminar and the topic this week was an introduction to Mindfulness. The topic was called ‘Be Kind to Yourself – Mindfulness ideas’.  Andrew presented some slides explaining about Mindfulness which is all about paying attention to what is happening in the present moment. It was very interesting learning and Andrew also introduced some meditation practices. Everyone’s feedback was how excellent this seminar was and felt really good after the meditation.

At 8pm when Andrew finished, members continued with questions to Helen, Avinash and also Eshwan and Andrew. Members had various questions, one of which was about how we can get rid of the stigma of dementia. Lisa responded giving an example when she was raising awareness about dementia at Brent Cross Chopping Centre and someone approaching to take a leaflet decided not to take the leaflet because they were afraid that they would catch dementia. One of the carers Gillian, came up with a very good slogan – ‘It’s not catching –its caring’  Everyone thought this was brilliant.

Lisa thanked everyone and the two visitors and the meeting finished at 8.35pm.

We had 24 members today. Lisa introduced the new Karaoke session which everyone really enjoyed as usual and then the chat session started at 2.30pm. Lisa welcomed everyone, gave some updates and also welcomed the new members Ralph and Marion. Ian our music entertainer then joined us and gave a warm welcome to everyone. Ian always makes everyone smile with his humour. Ian sang a lovely variety of songs today which everyone sang along to. Rachel then joined us for the exercise dance session which everyone participates to and enjoys.

Lisa then called out the Bingo numbers and todays winner was John and Audrey.

We had 23 members today. Everyone enjoyed the Karaoke at 2pm and then the look forward to the 2.30pm chat. Lisa reminded everyone that there is no session on Bank Holiday Monday 5th April and also reminded them of our visitor Helen Newman CEO of Age UK Barnet joining the carers group meeting on Tuesday 6th April.

James Le Bec then joined us with Joy for the music entertainment. As it has been a sunny warm week, James decided to sing a variety of happy songs for everyone to sing along to. The music quiz today was television programmes and the members with the highest points was Pam and John with 9 out of 10. James then finished off with another happy funny song called ‘What shall we do with the drunken Sailor’

Richard Kravetz then joined us and as usual got everyone exercising in a fun way. Richard’s quiz today was an Easter Quiz about chocolate slogans. Some of the questions were tricky but with a few hints it helped. Gina and Chris and Jackie and Joan got 10 out of 10 and their jokey prize was an empty egg carton.

Lisa then called out the Bingo numbers and mentioned to everyone that she was not starting a new game so that she could give another members another chance to win. The Bingo winner was Laurie Porter.

Lisa then wished everyone a Happy Easter and Happy Passover

There were 21 members this evening at the carers group meeting, with Dr Angela and Andrew from Carlton Court Care Home. The session was run by Kevin and Keren this evening as Lisa was at another work meeting.

The first topic of conversation was asking any easy ways to teach a partner information about running of the house if the other husband or wife had always done this throughout the relationship . Age UK website have something called a life book to help with this.

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A reduction of appetite and food eaten was next discussed. This brought about various ideas to encourage people to eat more. There was a suggestion to keep a food diary for a few days to monitor this. NB The drink bottles of Ensure that can be prescribed through GPs were not encouraged as they are an expensive resource for the NHS (£5 per bottle - as they have a huge mark-up on them when prescribed) Alternative drinks can be made up at home including crushed up vitamin tablets including a zinc tablet. Andrew was going to provide the group with “an ensure alternative” recipe.

Andrew also was helpful with the next topic; Lifting and handling. He said he could provide some further information and pointed the group to some YouTube online training. Kevin shared a device that he had at home for helping stand up and others discussed bedrails. It was mentioned that as carers we must be very aware of our own back care!

There was a couple of recommendations for chiropodists that are not too expensive and will do home visits:
Rosemary charges approximately £30 (Maurice to provide phone number)
Nigel Hurst in North Finchley (028) 8446 0041 or 07956 827885
Andrew mentioned any extra support needed for this we could look into North Central London ‘NCL’ CCG?

For the last half an hour of the session we went round and asked anyone who hadn’t spoken of any issues they may like to raise. A couple of people said they just enjoyed listening and being part of the group learning from others rather than speaking out.

The subject of Family members that had not been in contact recently was mentioned. Asking would it be a good idea to pretend to send flowers from them to make the person living with dementia feel better? Some members of the group  felt this could be a nice and harmless gesture!

Finally, a question was raised that as restrictions are now lifting re meeting up outdoors from Monday 29th of March, would care homes be following the same rules and allow more visits in their gardens. Andrew said they are still waiting for public-health England to issue these guidelines,  then individual care homes would have to do their own risk assessments.

Everyone was thanked and the meeting closed at 8.35pm

We had 20 members today. The new Karaoke music selection at 2pm was a real treat especially as members look forward to hearing their requests. At 2.30pm everyone was then ready for their chats and then Ian James our music entertainer joined us 5 minutes before starting his music to greet everyone. Members really like that as Ian is a very jolly person. Ian sang a medley of music favourites today which got everyone singing along.

Rachel then joined us for the dance exercise session. Members look forward to this as Rachel provides dance routines for everyone to participate.

Lisa then did a 1950’s multiple choice quiz which everyone did really well. Lisa then called out the Bingo numbers and the winner today was Jackie and Joan. Jacqui and Joan are now the winners for Bingo 9. Lisa has decided to continue with the same game for tomorrow to give another winner a chance to win hopefully and will start Bingo 10 next week after Easter.