February 2023

Published by Alison Watson-Shields on

February has been an exciting month for the team at Young At Heart ULO CIC. We started February with our Musical Memories Singing Circle with Trish singing all of our favourite songs and teaching the group how to sign to Love Shine A Light, the 1997 Eurovision winning song! This was all in preparation for our ‘Love Is In The Air’ Dementia Choir session, funded by The Teesside Charity, which took place on Wednesday 15th February.

We also started our weekly Sunday Virtual Singalong, a recorded song performed by our very own Trish McLean, which is shared on our YouTube channel, our blog and our social media accounts every Sunday morning at 10am. Music provides so many benefits for people living with dementia. You can read more about it here.

At our Billingham activity group, we celebrated Shrove Tuesday with the group making their own mini pancakes to share and enjoy with lemon juice, maple syrup or honey. We also made some valentines themed cardboard spinners and a short stop-frame animation of all the things that we love. We ended the month with a game of ‘swat the balloon’ using both our left hand and our right hand to work on hand-eye coordination and challenge our motor skills.

At our Thornaby table top games group, we enjoyed themed quizzes, dominoes, and even made up our own version of a game for our upcoming Spring Olympics based around our trial of Quoits which really created a competitive atmosphere. We ended the month with a spontaneous A-Z of categories session to assist in the development of some resources for an upcoming session.

We also took over the delivery of a group at the LiveWell Hub on a Friday afternoon, 1-2:30pm. This group is now delivering a rolling Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) programme so you can join any time and still complete the whole MCST programme.

Alison has also been working hard to acquire funding to deliver a new Positive Approach To Care: Getting To Know Dementia training programme for care partners (carers) which has been developed by world renowned Dementia Care Education Specialist, Occupational Therapist and Clinical Practitioner with over 40 years of experience. The Positive Approach to Care is designed to shed a positive light on dementia and raise awareness of the different brain changes and how we can better support people through these changes over the time we are providing care.

Finally, we ran a short online campaign to raise funds to buy dementia-friendly drinking cups with lids and, thanks to a generous anonymous donation, we now have 6 different drinking cups available for anyone who needs them at our sessions. Please just make a member of the team aware of the preferred cup (either double handled or no handled).

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