My Journey to the Musical Memories Cafe

 Musical Memories  

When my mother-in-law Hilda was diagnosed with Dementia I knew very little about it. I decided to go along to Dementia Conversations at Bowdon Vale to learn more. I soon found that there was so much more I hadn’t known particularly about how to live well with Dementia. I found myself volunteering to open up the Cornerstone Room at Timperley once a week as a Dementia Drop In. The idea being that anyone could come for a drink and chat and pick up information. I have collected leaflets from many sources over the last couple of years. I could also recommend the Dementia Conversations where this had all started. I think it is far better to talk to someone going through the same experience than be given a handful of leaflets.

Music has come up in our conversations so many times. Some have benefited greatly from Vibrant Voices in Bowdon. There was a father and son doing a karaoke car share on T.V. Apart from singing being very uplifting the fact that we can remember all the words is a good confidence boost .

The next significant step came when Peter volunteered to bring his guitar along. We could now sing our favourite songs and hymns. As we met on Thursday afternoon we found that some of the congregation from the Shoppers Service could stay for a light lunch and join us. We then decided to find a new name and became known as the ‘Musical Memories Cafe’. We now have more regular musicians including Tim on guitar,Ted on harmonica and Peter on piano accordion .

We occasionally have musicians who kindly volunteer to perform for us. Heather has brought her Ukulele group a couple of times. They came recently dressed in their Christmas outfits including at least one elf. Peter has also performed with his band ‘Flotsam’. Last year a group of children came from Heyes Lane school to play their guitars. We always have the opportunity to singalong which is great fun.

Every week is different as we usually don’t plan what we will sing but instead are open to requests. The music ranges from classical, pop, hymns, folk etc. I also have my crayons and card making at hand if they are requested. My box of leaflets is also still at hand if needed .

I have so many people to thank for their music, friendship, care and support.

However none of this would have begun if Prof. David Jolley and Rev. Ros Watson had not started their Dementia Conversations. They are very much appreciated by so many. I have learned so much but there is always more to learn.

Diane Robinson