The Memory Songbook by Douglas Glenn Clark

The Memory SongbookThe Memory Songbook by Douglas Glenn Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure about this book at first, there was a lot of travelling back and forth in time as the story built up and in the middle I was getting a bit lost by it all, however the ending made up for it, it was extremely powerful and moving. Well done Douglas!

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10000 threshold

Have spent the morning on the new book and broke through the 10000 word count barrier. Nothing to some Authors, but a benchmark for me!

Loved an article in the Dailey Telegraph, yesterday by Xanthe Clay about a care home near Bristol which has set up a project in the garden of the care home to help dementia patients. A model size 1950’s village street called “Memory Lane” hosts a post office, pub, shop and phone box to give the residents a purpose to their movements. Chris Taylor, the senior Manager at the Grove Care nursing home was being interviewed by Sky news, Jeremy Vine, BBC Bristol, Radio Five Live, BBC Wales and has a booking with BBC Breakfast on Friday. The idea behind the project is to give the patients “stimulation and a catalyst for conversation”

Memory Lane patients and guests can wonder in and around the shop and pub, there is original packaging to handle and replica newspapers to read. There are displays of ration books and telegrams, plus old stamps and other memorabilia. it gets the patients talking and jogging memories is key to getting into the world of the dementia patient. Taylor plans to expand the village into a whole village with a village green.

This isn’t the first; Hogeweg Nursing home in Amsterdam has a self-contained village for its 152 dementia patients and a new home near Bern in Switzerland is due to open in 2017 with a recreation of a 1950’s town.

There are always critics, but the project sounds great to me.

Contented Dementia by Oliver James

Mumsnetbloggers were talking about dementia and I picked it up on twitter this morning. It reminded me of a book I had to help care for my own Father-in-law.

This would not be your normal read, however with life expectancy increasing and dementia being diagnosed more, it has become more obvious that there is little training in how to cope as a carer of someone with dementia. Contented Dementia by Oliver James, published by Vermilion ISBN 9780091901806. The book offers ground breaking and practical methods for managing dementia for the patient and the carer.
I read this after my father-in-law was diagnosed with the condition and it helped me and has since helped several other carers. My husband’s Aunt also remembers attending some of the bridge games mentioned in the book where dementia patients attended. She remembers being asked to play bridge and not react to any of the strange behaviour of other players, as they were being encouraged to interact.
Nothing beats personal experience for helping others to deal with an incurable illness. Do read this book and pass it on to someone who could benefit from its content.