May 24, 2018 by Alison Watson-Shields
This week at Young At Heart ULO we celebrated the newly branded annual event: ‘Dementia Action Week’. All three of our groups (Stockton, Billingham and Thornaby) took part in exactly the same activities as part of our celebration. Each group member created their own positive affirmation forget-me-not, which will form part of our ‘garden of us’ picture that is currently in progress.
At the start of the session, following the orientation exercises, we discussed the stigma, discrimination and isolation that can be experienced by people living with dementia and their caregivers. This led to a conversation about how some common misconceptions and generalisations do not represent those who attend the Young At Heart ULO sessions. Everyone was then given a scrap of paper and asked to write five positive “I am” statements about themselves, such as “I am friendly”, “I am happy”, “I am loved”, etc. We then asked the group members to use transfer those statements to a printed forget-me-not flower outline and colour the flower in.
At the end of the session, we shared and discussed our “I am” statements with the group, which gave those who felt confident sharing with the group an opportunity for self-reflection.
The group in Billingham also chose to mark the occasion with a song: