My Monthly Meet-up with Playmates…….

Yesterday was my monthly trundle to York to meet up with playmates at Minds and Voices. It’s the last session before our 6 week course starts next Tuesday – A Good Life with Dementia – with new playmates all coming to learn and share with us.

We’d had some welcome rain overnight as the heatwave was due to start, but it was breezy and cloudy as I trundled through the Westwood to the bus station.

The bus was on time and the odd chink of blue in the waking sky across the Westwood heralded the promised sunshine.

The early morning bus wan’t direct anymore and I had to change in Pocklington for the rest of the trundle to York. I wasn’t sure if all the schools had quite finished and the next bus gets held up in rush hour traffic , arriving too late. But the nice thing about this one was it went through all the villages. So Barmby Moor, Willberfoss and Dunnington, then through Heslington and the University grounds were on my route today and the view of their gardens from the upstairs were a delight.

I was a tad early so went and sat a while in the station, only to be joined by an elderly lady also passing the time of day. We got chatting and told me her life story when suddenly she said she used to live in Beverley……..😳…….small world I said as I’d just travelled from there. So she told me about the Beverley that used to be……a lovely conversation to while away the time….

Damian picked me up and had his daughter Anna with him today as our helper as real helper Anna couldn’t make it. People began to drift in.

Jokes and laughter about Damian having such a lovely daughter followed……🤣

We finally all arrived and were all in situe….

Simon and Alison were introduced – Simon from Belgium, who’s been working with Bradford University for a month. He’s been visiting DEEP groups to see how our voices make a difference. Alison Morby from Leeds Beckett Uni wanted to talk to the group about being physically active with dementia.

Our course was the first on the agenda. We have 4 or 5 people attending. Once again, the local Mental Health team have let us down……not promoting… signposting with sincerity……☹️……but I can’t wait to meet everyone.

4 of our group are going to Woodbrooke tomorrow to do a walk around, Alison and Paul and partners. Hopefully they’ll have as nice a time as I do when I go there.

Alison Morby had her turn next and told us about herself. She’s been at Leeds Beckett for 3 years and before that was a sports and activity manager. So that fits in nicely with her work at Leeds Beckett. Her dad has dementia and she has seen how his physical activity has decreased even though he wanted to stay active.

We were put into little teams to answer True or False to her questions – I was with Eric and Elaine – and we called ourselves, The Terrible Threesome……

Alison read each question out. A couple of the questions were a tad difficult to understand, especially the longer one and the one with a negative, e.g. ‘You don’t get…..”. which I always get confused with

We went through the answers, marking our papers…..there were some interesting questions and answers that surprised us…..

One question was:
You should drink frequently during exercise even when your’e not thirsty” True or False?

– was false when we thought it was true because apparently it can be dangerous to drink too much. Always use thirst as a way of telling if you need a drink and WATER is far better than any energy drink……

A good exercise…..which taught us a lot…..

Alison will be looking for volunteers to speak to during the break about her research…..

Our winners were the ‘bearded wonders’ of Stuart, Peter, and Damian…….

Moving on ….Damian went through research people who would like to come for us to be involved with them….first one on our use of gardens, Chrissie would like us to be a focus group.

We spoke of charging INVOLVE rates for situations where we are asked to be consultants.

Simon then spoke about his interest in the participation of people with dementia. He’s been following a group in Belgium called ‘The Fighters’ for the last 3 years. He’s now here observing our DEEP groups. What needs to be in place to get people involved?

Damian spoke of the wonderful news of how we got our own research grant to look at the differences between living on your own and living as a couple from Innovations in Dementia. The conversation that followed made us want to start now as so many ideas and thoughts came forward……

We put a joint bid in with George Rooks group from Shropshire around how much do Admiral Nurses know about DEEP group and how many DEEP groups know about Admiral Nurses. So that research will be done as a joint venture.

Lunch time for my playmates but  time for me to trundle back to town to catch the bus back home……….

The sun had finally found it’s heat and the sky was blue…..happy meeting….worth the trundle….but boy oh boy was it hot now…..I fell asleep on the bus….luckily waking up before Beverley….🙄


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. 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.

4 thoughts on “My Monthly Meet-up with Playmates…….

  1. Congrats on the grant! Sounds like a productive meeting. Gorgeous pics as always. Our heat wave here in the eastern US finally broke last night. I do not envy you yours. Stay in cooled spots as much as possible!

    Liked by 2 people

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