The First Class of 2018………

So yesterday was the start of Dementia Action Week 2018. I was trundling off to York for a fitting start to the week as it was the Graduation Party for Minds and Voices and the folk who who gone through our 6 week course – A Good Life with Dementia – designed and delivered by people with dementia ably assisted by Damian Murphy, without none of which would have been possible.

Due to the recent changes in bus timetables I could no longer catch my usual bus to York as it would now get me in too late for Damian to pick me up and have time to set up. So yesterday I was up at daft o’clock and had to get 2 buses 🙈……it might now mean that a trip to Minds and Voices is a luxury rather than a monthly visit😐

Anyway, a chirpy taxi driver arrived to take me into town on a misty murky morning and I set off on the first bus of the day. Even the cows were finding it hard to find one another as a lone cow was eating alone on the Westwood …

As the bus trundled over the wolds to my first destination of Pocklington, the sun was desparately trying to burn away the morning mist

By the time the first bus arrived in Pocklington, the sun was shining and the sky was blue and I waited for the next bus which was going to take me a different way to York🙄 apparently a scenic route through the villages..…….and we did…..we even ended up going round York University, which was a welcome surprise……..

So I had an hour or so to kill, so I ambled along watched the rowers getting ready for their morning outing, before heading to the station where Damian picked me up as planned…

We arrived to find the tea urn in situe and nice and hot so we me and Damian had an early tea break before we set up the tables………….and set the world to rights…….but it wasn’t long before new playmate Howard arrived followed by lots of others…..we were down on our course people due to illness and holidays, which was a shame, but there was still hugs and laughter before we started but there were still 3 of our wonderful new playmates there……

We’d never had so many people around our table before!.. Charlie said we should be rechristened ‘New Faces’……….as we’ve never had so many round our table.

Damian welcomed everyone and we went round and said hello

This week was asking how it had gone and going through the highlights.
Damian then went through all the wonderful comments that had come out of each session of our course

“I can’t find the words, but it makes me happy…” said Peter at the end of last weeks course….

“Our course was about learning more about dementia from people who are living with it.”

“Learning well to live with dementia is not what doctors can provide” they say scram whereas we can say hello, come and learn from us…….said one member

“Since joining Minds and Voices I’ve met more people, more friendly people than I could ever meet” said Stuart “I’m not worried about dementia…….”

I said that the problem is we don’t know what a poor service and what a good service is. Sometimes, if a poor service is all we have experienced, that may appear to be a good service by default….

“My wife learned so much from another wife as she leant to leave me on my own”…….said Howard…….”It’s made my wife less stressed”……

“It’s good to know I’m not alone” – Barbara said when going through our individual symptoms.

Tony said, when talking about how to get rid of hallucinations…….”Get your wife to sit on them……”🤣😂🤣

Liz described dementia as……. ‘It’s losing nerve cells in the brain” and “Carry on regardless”⭐

We have so many people in the room at all stages of dementia and each played a unique part in this course and in this day……

“It’s not the dementia which makes us suffer it’s the world around us that causes us problems….”

“Even though we are losing brain cells we have plenty in reserve”……

I’m forever saying, ‘We don’t know what we don’t know” and we found in the Market Place session, that no services advised on benefits and how to do it – how do we know what to ask for if people don’t tell us………….

“This is a far better way of learning”

Marvellous comments which says it all…….

We finished off with presentation certificates and photos and then finally a Class of 2018 photograph………magic

Wonderful – new faces and old joined together through dementia….

I’m so proud of our course – tutors and those taking part. W

If any of you are in the York vicinity on Wednesday 23rd May at noon, please go along to the railway station and see all my playmates involved with the unfurling of our Right To Get Out and About banner…………

Now to London for 2 days…….

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

8 thoughts on “The First Class of 2018………

  1. I just wanted to tell you that I read your book, “Someone I used to know”. It was a wonderful, positive , informative read. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I am not living with dementia but if it enters my life, or I come across anyone in the future, I believe your book will help me respond in a supportive and understanding way. Wishing you a continued fulfilling life. Kind regards, Pauline

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Wendy, It was a pleasure getting to know you all. I enjoyed my time on the course, I learnt so much and it has empowered my family and I to try to live as well as we can with my Dementia

    Liked by 1 person

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