We have supported 10 pairs of people and on average attract a new pair once per month. Their relationships vary and not everyone attending has a formal diagnosis, but one of the pair has memory difficulties. People who benefit from this group can interact with others and have mild to moderate difficulties. We do not offer personal care. The majority of people attending love it, but it isn’t for everyone and we understand that.
One couple travel for an hour on the train to participate in our two-hour session before travelling for another hour to get home. The Carer stated that it is the highlight of her week and that his happy state of mind lasts much longer after our session. The members have said that “(Welcome Me) is the best support we all have. Being weekly is important too, he almost remembers (and) monthly doesn’t work”. “Thank you so much for this mornings session. You are a lifesaver!”. “I just wish we could pop out and get some fish and chips and come back and carry on”.
Generally, the format of the session is that the group meets, has a tea/coffee and a catch up chat, the whole group join in with some movement to music either seated or standing and then often the group splits and the carers gain knowledge and support from each other while those with memory difficulties participate in a variety of activities. These activities are a form of cognitive stimulation and use several senses to stimulate a response. Those taking part are encouraged to share stories and feelings whilst having fun. Some of the activities we have taken part in are:
• Quizzes: Music, Soundbite, Cats & Dogs, Touchy Feely
• Creating: Bird feeders, clay pots, origami flowers & planes, jigsaw puzzles, pom poms, daffodils from dough
• Decorating: Rocks, cards
• Planting: Tomatoes, seeds, flower troughs
• Playing games: Jenga, Dominoes, Pictionary
• Physical: Balloon games, walking, singing
The responses from the group are what help to direct future activities and it is hoped that in the near future some of those with memory difficulties will start to lead some of these activities.
On first entering the building, you would not know who has the difficulties and who does not. We each take our turn in making the drinks, washing up, moving furniture about, cleaning and tidying. We all depend on each other and that’s just how we like it!
Please follow us on Facebook for a weekly update on our activities. https://www.facebook.com/Welcome.Me.Hooton First session is free to attend and a small donation is requested thereafter.
If you would like to attend, become a volunteer or just find out more information, please use the Contact Us section or call 07407620043 to speak to Caroline.