Today is National Alzheimer’s Day, and in a bid to champion, reflect and learn more about the condition and how it affects people living with it in our community, we are taking a moment to highlight the outstanding work of the Forget Me Not Activity Club.
The Forget Me Not Activity Club is a fantastic group that we work with in South Essex, who provide stimulating cognitive and light physical activities for loved ones, and respite for carers. The program and activities they offer to residents is varied, and can be tailored to people’s likes and dislikes. The current program includes soft sport, exercise, comedy, music therapy, cookery, trivia games and many other fun and gentle activities. They have also formed links with local primary schools in the South Essex area, providing an opportunity for intergenerational activities, benefiting both the service users and the kids taking part.
We know that the club is dedicated to supporting South Essex residents living with Alzheimer’s and their families, and we feel that the work they do is life-changing. The results speak for themselves.
An anonymous carer, who’s husband uses the service, has told us their positive experiences of attending. They said: “My husband has Frontotemporal Dementia, and he seldom smiles or interacts with me or members of his family. His only recreation at home is doing jigsaw puzzles or playing cards with me.” They added: “My delight is watching him, on Facebook, at the Forget Me Not Activity Club where he sings, dances, plays games and smiles. He is stimulated by the carer’s enthusiasm and is having a great time with his fellow members. I’m happy in the knowledge that he is well cared for and happy, while I have time to catch up on the other important things in my life. I am sure you will be happy to support the club in the excellent help they give him and many others.”
JL, who’s mum attends the Forget Me Not club, has noticed a marked improvement on their mum’s recollection since starting the club. They said: “There are questions I ask mum every day about where she lives, who I am, who my sisters are etc. I do it to get a sense of how ‘with it’ she is on that day, but also to help her feel more grounded. She even says “you asked me this yesterday!” Anyway, I’ve noticed on the days she comes back from the activity club, she always gets the questions 100% right and is incredibly ‘with it.’ It just shows the benefit that extra social and mental interaction does for her.”
For SP and their mum, the club feels a welcoming and inviting space. They said: “Mum has been attending the club for a few weeks now, and it has been great for her. I have tried clubs before and Mum had refused to get out of my car, and had cried “Don’t leave me.” Thank you so much. It has been a great support for me, as she says she is lonely.”
We at Active Essex know that physical activity is something everyone, of all abilities, can enjoy and do benefit from. We love the approach taken by the Forget Me Not Activity Club, in encouraging people to keep moving both physically and mentally, gently at their own pace, in a safe and fun environment, and we support them all the way.
If you are interested in learning more about the Forget Me Not Activity club in South Essex, you can see more here.