Motivational Music, Ruth Singing

If You Go Down To The Woods Today

Such fun storytelling and making music yesterday down in the woods at the Stamford Bridge Summer Fair near York. This year the theme was the Wild West, a great excuse for us all to dress up as Cowboys, Cowgirls and Indians!

A big thank you to lovely Jane Jardine and Neil Griffin for making my beautiful little camp in the woods and to cowgirls Sue and Jackie for all their help.

Motivational Music, Ruth Singing

Stamford Bridge Summer Fair – 9 June 2019

Well the weather forecast has improved and it looks like Sunday will be dry all day, so be sure to mosey on down to the OK Coral (Station Club, Stamford Bridge) and join us for this year’s bigger and better Wild West theme event from 11am to 4pm.

There’s something for all the family with a Bucking Bronco, Dog Show, Brass Band, Magic Mal, our regular singing duo The Pokies, gorgeous cakes and refreshing cups of tea, beers from behind the Station Club bar, competitions and lots of lovely interesting stalls supporting the local community. You can learn more about our local history and I’m going to be digging out my glad rags and dressing up as Cowgirl Ruthie telling tales and making music! I’m so looking forward to it. Hope to see you there.

Alzheimers & Dementia, Motivational Music

Well Done Dementia Choir

I was enthralled to watch Vicky McClure’s “Dementia Choir” recently on BBC 1 which served to reinforce the benefits I am seeing on a regular basis during my Motivational Music sessions across many Yorkshire care homes. People living with dementia will often feel agitated and restless, but singing helps them feel calmer and more animated. By the end of a session their mood has lifted and often they will engage in some form of interaction and communication with others in their group. It is wonderful to see how the whole energy of the room has lifted.

The right song can instantly transport someone back in time and elicit strong emotions even if they haven’t heard it for years. It is such a privilege to witness a person who cannot speak singing along to a song which has been tucked away deep inside their brain.

I’m also delighted to learn that a national campaign called Music for Dementia 2020 hopes to make some form of music available for everyone with dementia by the year 2020.

Motivational Music, Ruth Singing

Stamford Bridge Remembers 1914 – 1918

I was delighted to be able to dress up in costume and encourage everyone to sing along with me at the recent commemoration events which took place in Stamford Bridge and Sutton-Upon-Derwent throughout the weekend of the 10th and 11th November 2018. It has been inspirational watching how communities across the country have united to commemorate the millions of people and animals who gave their lives in service of our country during the First World War atrocities.

Although commemorating some very dark and difficult times in our past, such commemorations are right up my street as I particularly love the music from the Music Hall, WWI and WW2 eras and the opportunity to encourage audiences to sing along and have some fun at the same time. Music is such a tonic.

This video captures a few of the songs that I sang during the “Stamford Bridge Remembers” event on Saturday 10th November, in the lovely Village Hall at Stamford Bridge, York and demonstrates some of the tremendous work carried out by their community in commemoration of the eleven local men who lost their lives during WW1.

Motivational Music, Ruth Singing

Stamford Bridge Remembers 1918-2018 – Saturday 10th November 2018

I am delighted to have been asked to lead the sing along session of WWI songs at Stamford Bridge’s special celebrations to commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI, 100 years of the RAF and 100 years of the Suffragettes. The event will take place on Saturday 10th November 2018 in the Stamford Bridge Village Hall.

It promises to be a great evening with music from The New York Dance Band and further entertainment from The Pokies.

Tickets go on sale on 10th October from The Post Office, Stamford Bridge.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to two British Legion homes for disabled veterans.

Alzheimers & Dementia

Somebody I Used To Know – A Great Read

This book is a definite must for all those caring for someone living with dementia. It is available from many publishers including Bloomsbury

Wendy Mitchell’s ground breaking book documents her personal experience of living with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Diagnosed at 58 with its’ early onset, Wendy’s honest account and her many radio and TV appearances are helping to build a better understanding of the illness.

Wendy says in her article “My Opinion On The Social Care Chaos” which appears on her personal blog Which Me Am I Today:-

“For so long, in this country, we havn’t talked about the complexity of the individual living with dementia. The ‘need’ for support and services has been ignored and thought of as the realm of charities and this is one of the main reasons for the chaotic state of social care at present.

For so long people with dementia have been shoe horned into the general services which others believe is our need instead of individually assessing need. Now we’re beginning to rise in numbers and TALK in public, there’s a realisation of the individuality of ‘need’ – we don’t all ‘fit’ into current services provided.

It’s almost as if it’s too late for all those of us currently living with dementia, both in the early mid and late stages and all stages in between. It feels like we’re the guinea pigs being used to try to sort out this mess so future generations can benefit.

If everyone currently living with dementia, in whatever stage, has to be guinea pigs for change to happen, then so be it, but change there has to be. No more silence, no more voices of the few, no more talk and good intentions – there has to be actions.

In the next 5 years huge social care change must take place so that in 10 years time, we’re proud of what the country has in place. People living with cancer aren’t shoe horned into inappropriate treatment, those recovering from a stroke aren’t shoe horned into inappropriate treatment….so why are people with dementia? Dementia lags behind in medical innovation so the need for social transformation is greater.

We don’t have innovative medical procedures to follow or a plethora of choice on medication because research has been sadly underfunded so the need for social transformation is greater. In my mind this should naturally lead clinicians to use social prescribing instead of automatically looking at the medical model and then discharging us.

No more silence and ‘making do’. We need to be realistic though and also examine various ways to fund this enormous need – what should and shouldn’t be funded – as we all know there is no infinite money in the pot.

Yes it is a daunting job to transform social care, but then surely it was a daunting job to create the NHS in the first place, but it happened.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if social care was a job of choice, with recognition, status, and a value placed on the skills of the staff?
Wouldn’t it be nice if individuals were treated as simply that, individuals with individual needs?
Wouldn’t it be nice if policy makers actually listened to the people that mattered and had most knowledge?

Which beggars the question, ‘Who is responsible and who should be involved in this massive transformation’? Well, only people who truly understand the problem and a large proportion of whatever group is set up should be made up of people with dementia, supporters, experts from the likes of Innovations in Dementia, TIDE, who are not afraid to stand up to policy makers – non negotiable and paid appropriately. Real people with real knowledge, real experience, along with the few policy makers who can make it happen but who LISTEN, MAKE NOTES, and put into ACTION.”

Well said Wendy. Come on you policy makers, it’s time to start catching up quick.