Activities for dementia in care homes.

Apologies again for lack of posts. I began my new work role on 5th March. I have been non stop between work and family. I can’t describe the joy this role is bringing to my life. My husband asked me how I feel knowing that many of residents are at their final stages of life. It was an interesting question. My reply was i feel privileged to be a part of so many wonderful people’s lives in final stages and my personal goal is to bring them joy through activities I create for them.

It’s very important to remember it’s not the person who is controlling their minds it is dementia. So patience is vital along with thick skin as some comments can come across insulting so I do not take personally, I actually find a lot amusing. Another vital point to remember is memory. Many are back to childhood stage or their early adult stages in life. Let them stay there. Do not let them re live things they have forgot about for example if spouse has died but they think they are still alive just let them think this is case as if you tell them they are hearing it for 1st time due to memory loss which could mean re living that bad news several times a day! Some people may have a different opinion on this and perhaps feel it’s patronising or maybe cruel letting them them think they are in their past, but to a person with dementia that is there present, so in my opinion what is the point of upsetting people if it’s the disease! 

In my experience there is 2 scenarios. A person with dementia is looking for their spouse or parent, I could say oh I am not to sure what’s keeping them but let’s go and get a cuppa while we wait and distract the thoughts on to an activity which is bringing that person joy as we chat and do something. Or, I can say oh I am sorry your husband, wife or parent is dead. The person is deeply upset and become erratic and distressed. Personally I use the 1st option every time.

Some activities I have done!

Daily newspapers in morning along with on this day 1969.

 I had researched the news from 50 years ago along with who was Prime Minister and President. I also researched the price of shopping in 1969 with old money along with the price now in 2019. This was really interesting and got the residents happily remembering prices in shillings, crowns, old pennies and so on. Also shocking us all with the prices now. It was a very interesting history lesson personally for me as I wasn’t born then. Plus my husband was around 6 when old money changed, so while I was researching it was lovely for us to do together! 

Arts & Crafts.

From making flowers to making flags for themed days has been fun and thearaputic! Also adult colouring has been a big hit which have been out into frames for residents bedrooms.

Music Threapy.

This is a big hit. The residents love singing and using instruments. It’s so much fun brings laughter and smiles and to me that’s what it’s all about!

Quizzes.

I have created many quizzes which are so much fun as exercising brain and triggering memories. Also riddled and finish the sayings have been big hits.

Silly Time.

It does not matter what age you are we all need silly time! I have dressed up as a mascot bear randomly and ran about the home. Telling silly jokes and putting on silly songs just puts smiles on everyone’s faces.
I will be doing a lot more over the few weeks and looking forward to sharing this with you all! 
Love πŸ’˜ Mrs Broon! Xx
                               

Mindful March!Β 

Wow 2 months of 2019 gone like the click of my fingers! I don’t know about yourself but I like to set myself goals but instead of doing it as a new year resolution I write down everything I would love to achieve then split in to quarter month goals then an action plan on how to achieve. I find it works for me! 

At end of 2018 I physically and mentally felt drained in so many ways. I was so run down I knew I had to make some changes. My hubby and I both lost our jobs in December. So my January-March goals were to gain weight in a healthy manner, get a job, make time for me and my amazing little family and progress with my Makaton teaching sessions for parents.

01.03.19 & I am so proud of myself as achieved each 1 before the date I set myself which was 30.03.19. I have went from 8 stone 6 pounds to 9 stone 10. I am loving food again. I’m eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper with a mid morning and afternoon snack. I feel physically better and don’t look like a drawn in skeleton! My hubby’s cooking has certainly contributed to this! It’s been great having him home. 

I got a new job. I had just started as an activity co-ordinator in nursing home but closed down. I was gutted as only in 2 days when it was announced. So the same role came up in another nursing home which I applied for in January. I had my interview on 05.02.19. I didn’t think I had got it though due to amount of people in for it and never heard anything after a couple of days, but I got the job! Hip hip hooray! Now all my paperwork and checks are through so I start on 5th March. It’s literally round corner from my house, it faces the beach! I am a Tuesday-Thursday 8am-4.30am. It’s the perfect hours! I am really looking forward to the challenge of creating fun and interesting activities for people with dementia. I look forward to blogging about activity planning! I also get to write and direct a pantomime for December! The main 1 I am excited about is devising a programme involving children coming into the home for weekly activities!

Making me time and just quality time with my family has been amazing. Just the simple walk to the park, baking together, reading together etc! You don’t need money to create these priceless memories!Routine has been a biggie for Evie. Making sure  1 to 1 time with both parents as well as a family activity has brought a good structure along with quality time together. it really is the simple things in life! 

Makaton at my daughter’s school has been a pleasure! It’s been great teaching it to other parents. We have been doing stage 1-4, creating little storie & games to be able to do with our kuds. The head teacher has asked me to now do a kids after school activity teaching them 1 day a week. 

So my March goals are work planning and settling into new role at work, a new routine at home to ensure we still have that quality time and activities using Makaton! It will be a fun, busy and productive month ahead. And I’m going to try and blog most days in March! I hope everyone’s 2019 so far has been what you have been aiming for.

πŸ’“ Mrs Broon! 

Reminiscing….Part 2!


To save some money with wedding costs I decided to do a lot myself! I was gobsmacked at prices of invites, table plans and many bits & bobs I didn’t even think about while planning a wedding. Once I began the process I understood why. I’m a girl who loved sparkle and glitter. Our invitations I bought sparkly glitter card, ribbon, hearts and thought how hard could it be? 150 invitations later my house was like a silver glitter ball. We are sweet toothed people so I wanted a sweetie cart. At a minimum of Β£150 to hire 1 for the evening I thought no I shall make 1. I bought a set of jars at Β£15, modge podge, glitter, sweet bags, scoops and sweets at a grand total of Β£50. My poor hubby wasn’t even near the stuff & he had blue glitter in his boxersπŸ˜‚. Favours I got Sun flower seeds, navy satin matarial, little tags and made a slogan, ‘Plant seed, watch them bloom, just like the love of the madden-broons ‘. Grand total of Β£15 for 150 favours! I made bunting for tables and our centre peices I made glitter wine bottles with our table numbers. I now have glitter in our house as it took WEEKS to get rid of. A table plan I used a mirror. Oh my goodness the stress I felt with that dam seating plan trying to sit people who would get on round a table is harder than you think. Several weeks of staying up to small hours in morning doing all this was worth it. On the morning of wedding seeing all in place made me so proud!

My hen night I needed away, it was 2 weeks before the big day.I needed relaxation! 5 of my favourite girls & myself booked into a stunning countryhouse hotel up the North of Scotland for a spa break. I don’t walk well in heels but I thought since I was only in hotel we would not be walking far, restaurant was in hotel so I would wear this 1 night. We spent afternoon getting all glammed up. My girls pulled out some great treats for me. I was so looking forward to our meal and cocktails.We got glammed up, bounced on beds like little children, me & my best mate also a bridesmaid were so excited as we had young kids, so to be out over night and no responsibility made us rather hyper.

 We all took our time getting ready then I had your classic hen night regalia to wear with veil, sash, a willie straw etc. I got my high heals on with my dress and off we went to the other side for our dinner. I can’t actually remember what I ordered but as I was getting tucked in to my meal 2 of my girlfriends were sneaking off apparently to loo, but I knew they were going to room to do some stuff. Just at that the lights went out. All you heard from other tables was oh stripper for the hen! I just growled at the rest of the girls not that they could see as it was pitch black! No it was not a stripper but a powercut! We were evacuated outside, by this it was snowing. We had to clamber down fire escape stairway in bloody 6 inch heels and stand outside in a mini dress. By this stage I wished it was a stripper as it least it would be warm and I could finish my dinner! 90 minutes later we got put into a dark room with candles and no booze! Thankfully we used my friend’s diabetes to our advantage (her idea) by saying we needed her insulin! So we got escorted back with torches. We asked if we could just stay in room. My poor bestie was in tears as they were not even out restaurant when lights went out and escorted back to us. All they wanted to do was put some decorations up and set up some games for me. We had glow sticks so had a crazy dark race with our glow sticks. 3 hours later the lights came on! Then the games began. It was the most halirious night which I will never forget. Thankfully the next day was a day of relaxation and pampering! Oh and I almost forgot the most tastiest afternoon tea I have ever had!

As said in part 1 my dad decided not to be a part of our day, so I had to decide who was to walk me down the isle. My great uncle offered who we now call The Warrier! Honestly what an honour it was to have him do this for me! I will be eternally grateful! 

18/02/17 finally arrived. I stayed at my step daughter’s house with Evie& my best friend Amanda.I woke calm and relaxed though I did down a quick whiskey before going to the hairdressers. My chief bridesmaid was my cousin who travelled from England. I was over the moon when she arrived at 9am as stayed at hotel a few towns away.I had 4 bridesmaids and my Evie as a flower girl and our nephew as Paige boy , stepson as best man and Billys 2 best friends as ushers. 

Us ladies went to venue at 11am where I had my own private suite for us to get ready. 2 of my closest friends are make up artists so as a gift they did all our makeup. I had all my girls & my wee mumsy together. When I entered venue I cried my eyes out at the prettiness of it all. We had such a lovely morning & afternoon drinking prosecco and rose wine. I could not nor wanted to get drunk. My bestie had nipped to the lol and and running back in crying hysterically! She was like “I have just spoke to Billy I asked him if he was nervous, his reply I have been waiting for this moment all of my life no point being nervous!” Poor Amanda spent most of day in happy tears and she was surprised she never once cried at her big day. 

The time came to get my dress on. My wedding fairy god mother who was Jennifer who did my flowers and gifts and decorated venue helped me into dress. My great uncle arrived, I held my bouquet close to my chest which had 3 charms of my gran, grandad and uncle who had passed away so I felt I had them all with me. It was now time to walk down the isle. It was the most magical beautiful 20 minutes of my life. We said our vows, as the registrar said do you take this woman to be your wife out daughter shouted and me too, everyone erupted into laughter. As we were married, Evie looked at me and sang ‘The Broon Song’ to me as I was finally a Broon! It goes like this:

Mammy Broon went up the toon,

Wi her knickers hanging doon,

Saw a ghost,

Eating toast,

Half way up a lamppost.

After family and friends had took pictures and we had signed registrar I had planned for me and hubby to nip over to our local pub. It was an ongoing joke that Billy would run to the pub as soon as we were married. So I arranged for us to do tigether. Honestly everyone’s face as we walked in was priceless! We had 2 quick drinks then back to the venue for our meal and speeches, my uncle had everyone in happy tears.Our 1at dance was halirious but you can read about that on a previous post!

 Half way through the reception we left to go to a country hotel a few miles away for the night. It was lovley. The next day I went down to order our breakfast. There was a man and I asked him if I could order 2 fry ups for our room. He looked at me and said he was not staff he was here on a project. I apologised and said I was just married, arrived late in evening so I wasn’t familiar with morning staff. He looked at me strangely and walked away! Found staff and got out breakfast. As me & Billy were outside waiting on our taxi to go home he got all excited and was like look Jacqueline, it’s Bill Patterson! I was like who??? I asked him for our breakfast this morning and he looked at me as if I was crazy. My hubby looked at me mortified then named off films he was in. I was like oh whoops no wonder he looked at me as if I was crazy! 
So I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane!

Love Mrs Broon πŸ’“

Reminiscing! Part 1…

2 years tomorrow,18/02/19 I will be 2 years married. So today’s post is my experience of wedding planning and the day itself! 

July 23rd 2016 we were child free for the whole weekend. At this stage we very rarely had this oppurtunity. So when we did we took full advantage. On the Friday night I had arranged to have a drink at my friends house who lives near by. We took this to extreme & partied all night. My other half had arranged to have a boys day out in the Saturday. Me & my friend partied till we dropped. I went to my bed mid afternoon and looked forward to just staying there till next day. I was having a fantastic sleep when I woke up to my other half shaking me awake at around 7pm. I do not take kindly to people wakening me up and quite frankly thoughts of murder do cross my mind. As I was about to hurl verbal abuse I see my other half on 1 knee. ‘Jacquii I am asking once and once only, you have 10 seconds to answer and I won’t ask again! Will you marry me? Tick tock tick tock! 10,9,8…..’ As I quickly realised what was going on I quickly shouted yes! Though I thought it was a drunk joke & I went back to slesp! As I woke the next day I looked at my other half who was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I was like omg did you propose to me? He smiled and said yes but let’s get married asap do you think you can plan it in 3 months? I still didn’t believe it until he phoned his mum to tell her. Her response made me laugh so much as she was like oh are you dying? As he always said he would never marry. His response was no but when I do die at least I will be married to my true love! 😊

My ideal wedding in my head was going abroad just us & the kids due to my parents being divorced and not having a good relationship. The thought of the 2 of them in same room all day filled me with dread. My other half on the other hand was like no we have to do here as he would have to not give my parents the chance to see me get wed. So I agreed. I was given a budget so I started the planning. The only party planning I had ever done was house parties for Evie at home. How hard could it be? As I started phoning round venues for quotes the reality of the timescale and the task ahead sank in. We looked at December but felt was to soon so we decided 18/02/17. 

After 6 weeks looking we found the perfect location which was a townhall in our next town which has just be regenerated and took our breath away. Now I was give a budget (that completely went out the window!) I had never in a million years realised how many people could be upset over my choices I was due to make. My hubby to be had said I was in control of all planning he would provide the money and turn up on the day. I ran everything past him 1st. Oh my goodness the guest list! This was where the conflicts of others began. My dad said to me when we were out for lunch 1 day that it was our wedding do it how we want to and invite who we want as that was 1 of his regrets. I always kept this in my head and found it very valuable advice! 

The guest list was drafted! To keep in within budget we had to many guests!After several discussions we decided that the uncle’s from my dad’s side that we didn’t like would not be invited, my step brothers and partners would be on the reserve list as we couldn’t expect relatives who were travelling 300 miles just to be on the night invites, though we knew a few wouldn’t make it so I knew fine well my step brothers would get all day invites. The reactions of the family and my dad was unexpected in a way! This resulted with my dad telling me 5 weeks before 1 of the most important events in my life that he wouldn’t be a part of our wedding or our lives again! This might sound bizzare but the stress that was lifted from me in that moment was huge! 

So anyhoo back to the wedding. The venue was decided, the guest list finally decided now was time for the DIY. After a lot of discussion, we didn’t want presents. We had lived together since 2011 we had everything we needed. So we decided to donate to a charity. A close friend of ours husband died of a rare cancer in 2016. Our friend’s son had the cancer gene. The only way to destroy it was to give him a new immune system. We decided straight away to donate all money received for The Bubble Foundation in Newcastle which would contribute towards equipment for this wonderful charity.

Well I shall continue this is another part as I don’t want to send you lovelies to sleep! πŸ˜‚

πŸ’“Mrs Broon xxx

It’s the simple things in life!Β 

Good afternoon lovlies! It’s a beautiful sunny day, I have a spare hour so thought better get finger out bum (not literally) and get back into my blogging routine! So many lovely but simple things have made me smile and appreciate life even more recently so I thought I would share!

My amazing little Evie is just such an inspiration to me which makes me proud and grateful to be mummy to this fantastic little human. I told you all about Rabbie Burns inspired poems that the kids were learning at school and shared Crocodile with you. Each class had a competition against all the pupils, then 3 from each class got chosen for school semi-finals, then the finals was against the local schools. Evie got to the semi finals and won 2nd place. πŸ’“πŸ˜πŸ˜Š  Evie has had to work so hard with her speech so just to stand in front of her class was a HUGE achievement on its own, but to get put in top 3 then to stand up in front of her whole school then come in 2nd for her age group was just a spectacular achievement in our eyes. 

On the day Evie found out she was chosen to go to the semi finals the excitement and pride was just priceless. It was the day of after school activity of cook club. I help set up so I was carrying chopping boards and utensils when Evie came bounding down the corridor shouting ‘Mummy I got picked for semi finals I am so proud of me!’ I did a balancing of everything dance to celebrate the happy moment. The next day my husband & I nervously clocked watch hoping she was enjoying the experience. That morning in bed with Evie for our morning cuddle she told me she was worried/nervous. I told her to repeat our little mantra which is ‘I can do it yes I can! Who can do it? Evie Broon can!’ I walked quickly to school to hear the results which Evie quickly said I never got to finals but guess what I came in 2nd which makes me happy and I will win next year! That’s the attitude to have! 

Another simple thing that has made me smile this week is Evie wanting to go to get school disco! Evie was not great with loud environments especially discos. She would cling to my leg and just sit with me and not join in. I decided taking her until she wanted to enjoy it was pointless as I don’t agree with making anyone do something they don’t want to. Evie said when letter came through she wasn’t going. Yesterday I thought I would ask again though she completely surprised me and said she wanted to go. So quick look through her clothes and found a lovely πŸ’“ patterned outfit, sparkly trainers and a tiny bit of make up on and off my little girl went to get school Valentine’s disco. I have her Β£5 which covered her ticket and treats for tuck shop. It was from 6.15pm – 7.15pm. I dropped her off and picked her up. As I was approaching school gates 1 of mums said how funny Evi was and how she danced with her son and was cutest sight. As I got Evie she said she had the best time. She danced to her favourite songs, got a kiss on cheek (not to tell daddy) and to make it even better all her fave snacks were at tuck shop so since it was a special night she thought she would have 2 of everything! πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚

I got a new job! have had interview last week and felt I gave a good interview but after 4 days of not hearing I accepted I hadn’t got it! On Monday I got the phone call to say they are delighted to give me job! I am an activity coordinator for residents in a nursing home of 45 residents with both dementia and altzhimers. The salary is best I have had and the challenge is very appealing to me along with fantastic hours of Tuesday-Thursday 8am-4pm. I am just waiting on my police checks then I start.

So a few simple things that have made me happy this week! 

Have a nice day!

πŸ’“Mrs Broon xx

Conversations, statements & thoughts of a 6 year old girl!

Good morning everyone! Hope your all well. It’s a lovely winter sunny morning here in Ayrshire. Was having a think about what could I write about. Well conversations and random thoughts Evie had made me smile and laugh alot. So I just thought I would share some of the thoughts and statements over the past week.

1. As said in other posts I love to jump into bed with Evie to wake her up as we have cuddles and random chats before the day begins. A morning last week I jumped in for this week day routine and cuddle in and give Evie 6 kisses on back of head as she is 6 & I like to pester her. I always get the most stunning sleepy smile which melts my heart every day then comes the clusters of chat straight from what she has dreamt about. Not this morning! I got ‘I have a wedgie!’ πŸ˜‚πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆ I’m not sure if wedgie Scottish slang, for those who don’t know what it means, simply pants are stuck up your bum! πŸ˜‚πŸ™Š

2. The celebrations of Rabbie Burns are popular at school and I suppose in Ayrshire in geneneral. A song the kids learned was a favourite of mind as a child and to sing to Evie when she was little. It goes like this.

Oh yi canni shove yir granny aff a bus (Push Push)

Oh yi canni shove yir granny aff a bus (Push Push)

Oh yi canni shove yir granny, coz she’s yir mammy’s mammy,

Oh yi canni shove yir granny aff a bus.
 But yi can shove yir other granny aff a bus! (Push push)

Yi can shove yir other granny aff a bus (Push push)

Oh yi can shove hit other granny as she’s yir daddy’s mammy

Oh yi can shove yir other granny aff a bus!
Evie was very confused and concerned after she sang this to and with me. Evie has 2 grans who both she adores! My mum is Granny Gracey, my mother in law is Granny Jinet. My mum is 5ft 5 and 57.( I think😱) Jinet is 75 and 4ft 10 and now not very mobile. Evie looked at me and said ‘Right nae offence to Granny Gracey but I would need to shove her aff the bus as poor granny jinet tiny and ancient and I just can’t shove her aff a bus! Aha! I have it!What if daddy took her place as I don’t want to shove granny gracey either and daddy would enjoy the peace and quiet in the hospital afterwards!

After composing myself after the laughing fit I took through this conversation I had to explain the song is just a little bit of humour and fun but we do not shove anyone off a bus! 

3. Evie caught sickness but from school on Wednesday, it kindly done the rounds through each of us in the house. I can usually skip the bugs but not this 1! So yesterday I spent the day being sick. In between I had to go to bed. My body just screamed SLEEP! I woke up with a note on my pillow. It was Evie. It said Mummy I love you! You are the best with a big ☺ face. This just melted my heart! 

I could write all day about silly conversations but my day is busy with prep for week ahead! Have a lovely day all and hope this made you smile!

πŸ’“Mrs Broon!

Xx