Down Memory Lane is a social singing group which takes place every second Thursday of the month from 2pm – 4pm. Anyone with any form of dementia and their carers are welcome to come along for tea, biscuits and lots of chat, singing and laughter.
The purpose of each session is to:
- Help carers and those living with dementia to meet together in a relaxed, informal atmosphere, where they are encouraged to engage with each other.
- Improve neurological pathways.
- Lift or prevent depression through using music that reassures, inspires, surprises, delights and can provide a challenge.
- Help families living with dementia have time out and enforce their right to feel part of a society which enjoys artistic and social stimulation.
- Encourage carers and those with dementia to be pro-active in networking with others.
We do this by setting up the room giving an area with small tables where people are served tea/coffee and biscuits at the start of the session.
Across from this area, we set out chairs in semi circles around where the musicians will stand so that everybody has a clear view of the leaders. Song books are provided, clearly printed, and pages are numbered. After the first cup of tea, people move across the hall to start singing. We have musicians who play along and Liz leads the singing which takes place for about 20 minutes. Then we have a break for another cuppa and more biscuits followed by 20 more minutes of song.
The songs are all familiar “oldies” and, if you get the urge to get up and dance, then that’s OK with us! Just come along on the second Thursday of the month at 2pm in the parish centre where you will receive a warm welcome.
Dementia Friendly Church
We are pleased to report that we are well on the way to being recognised as a dementia friendly church. Our action plan was accepted by the parochial Church Council and we have completed the following actions:
1. 67 people attended Dementia Friends sessions and are now dementia aware.
2. Our Welcome Team and Sidespeople will identify someone in the congregation to sit alongside a person with dementia if needed.
3. All of our services have a clear structure and clear points of learning. We have identified our Tuesday Worship service to be the most appropriate and accommodating for those living with dementia and would encourage people to try that service for themselves. Tuesday Worship has a specific service sheet with picture icons to assist those with dementia to follow the service more easily.
4. We will always consider people living with dementia for roles within the church where they are comfortable and feel able.
5. We do include familiar hymns as well as more modern songs.
6. There is a quiet room that people can use where the service can be heard through speakers.
7. We aim to make socialising easy after the service by offering a chair and bringing over a cup of tea/coffee then sitting and having a chat.
8. We are currently working to make our replacement signage clear and unambiguous.
We are pleased to report that St John’s Walton is now formally recognised as dementia friendly by the Chesterfield Dementia Action Alliance and the Alzheimer’s Society.