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Supporting Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses

On 24th October, Rachel Johnstone from Dementia UK gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of Nailsea & Backwell on the subject of Dementia and the work of Admiral Nurses.

Support for their invaluable work is this years President's charity.

The nurses are also being supported by the Rotary Club of Oakhampton

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Music Mends Minds

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Music Mends Minds is a not for profit organisation started in the USA in 2014 creating musical support group bands for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia, and Parkinson's, as well as traumatic brain injury, stroke, and PTSD.  MMM was created by Los Angeles based carer Carol Rosenstein after her husband's life was transformed when he started to play the piano again despite being diagnosed with both Parkinson's and dementia.

Carol was amazed to discover that although people with dementia may forget certain melodic content of songs, their ability to play their musical instrument seems to be unforgettable.

"Our doctor explained that playing the piano caused Irwin to release dopamine, and that was giving him the lift. ... I realized then that no medication was more powerful than music", she explained.

The experience led Carol to start a band for Irwin and other people who have neurodegenerative diseases.  The band called itself The 5th Dementia and since then Music Mends Minds has created 20 bands across the USA.

MMM is supported by Rotary International in the USA and Carol has now reached out to other Rotary Clubs internationally.  The first Rotary Club in Great Britain and Ireland to take up the call is Tavistock Club in Devon who are working with Home Instead Senior Care to run the UK's first Music Mends Minds sessions.

Tavistock Rotary club meet on the first Wednesday of the month, for a couple of hours.  We have a core of people that attend every month but also have people that drop in and out of meetings depending on their health and their circumstances.

Although we have some people play their own instruments, Tavistock Rotary applied for a grant to buy musical instruments for the group to try - we have djembe drums, ukulele, a keyboard and several different percussion instruments - there is a lot of laughter when using these.  everyone enjoys the 'coming together' of the group and it has become a real social event.

History of Dementia Club UK

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Lisa who is a qualified fitness instructor was running the very successful Alzheimer's Society Dementia Café monthly for about 2 years and as members increased she wanted to provide more sessions.

A fundraising event at Saracens Allianz Park in December 2014 resulted in the Chairman of Saracens wanting to support and provide funds for Lisa to be able to run weekly sessions.  The Saracens Dementia Club was launched in April 2015 and weekly sessions started on 22nd April 2015.

Lisa has now created a registered charity called Dementia Club UK which continues to be sponsored by Saracens and sessions continue to run weekly at the Finchley Memorial Hospital and other venues have also been opened at different locations in the Borough of Barnet and Camden to help more people.

We run several dementia club sessions in various locations.  Details of all the venues and session dates can be found on our programme. People with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are welcome to attend with their carers, friends and families and also welcome are those who have lost someone with dementia and are now lonely.

Each session aims to provide you with professional advice and information, gentle exercise to music and fun activities in a social atmosphere with cups of tea/coffee and lovely cakes.

Various speakers will attend the sessions and we also have 2 GPs who volunteer their time and attend most sessions.  Our GPs take blood pressures and also answer any medical concerns.

Charity No: 1168397



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The Rotary Club of Wakefield has set up a project to purchase these robotic cats direct from Ageless Inovation in the USA and donate them to people suffereing with dementia, their carers and also people living in social isolation.

You can make a real difference to a person's life by purchasing and donating one of these pets either to an individual or care home.

For more information, visit the Wakfield Club's website.

See also the October 2019 issue of 'Your Cat', the UK's best-selling cat magazine.  Here you will find details of how they are working alongside the Wakefield Club to raise money to purchase and distribute the cats.