September is World Alzheimer’s Month, culminating in World Alzheimer’s Day today with a theme of ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’.
This month, our work with People Living with Dementia (PLWD) includes a dementia-friendly concert series Together In Song, a songwriting session with Gus Harrower called Songwriting Sprint, and the indomitable Satellites, who have produced a film in collaboration with Tricky Hat - watch the trailer for the film here.
We've also been involved with the release of Trees of the Forest, written by PLWD with songwriter Martha Middlemiss, and performed by participants and the band The Daughters. (You can listen to it on Spotify here!)
As usual, we're also have all of our regular events - Zoom with a View, Tea and Jam, A Brew & A Blether, and the Tea Parties, which all help to boost stimulation, sociability and creativity.
James McKillop, one of our participants, was one of Scotland's first Dementia Activists, “ ‘But you can’t do that – you have dementia.’ Somehow we ignored the experts and we did do ‘that’, quite successfully. I have always argued, that people with dementia, can be quite creative. Capital Theatres thought the same, rose to the challenge, and put their heads above the parapet, to arrange and organize people with dementia, to showcase their undoubted talents. The process has certainly raised their spirits, and increased their confidence.
"We owe a lot of thanks to Capital Theatres, and everyone who participates in making our meetings so pleasurable, and teasing out our creative abilities. We’ve all gelled together seamlessly, and made new friends. Capital Theatres are trailblazers, shining a light for others to emulate. Watch us and learn, forget the myths.”
This week is Scotland Dementia Activism Week with themes of celebrating what people can do.
Willy Gilder, another of our participants, said:
“I have Alzheimer’s Disease, and I think it’s time that we reconsidered how we think about ‘dementia’ and how we treat people with progressive brain disease. Forget what you think you know - I’m not ready for the PVC armchair and Vera Lynn. People with dementia, laugh and joke and paint and sing and write books. We’re ordinary people with a brain disease.”
You can watch his full video, where he challenges everyone to re-think Dementia, below - it's an amazing account of his experience.
Dawn Irvine, our Creative Development Manager, who oversees all of our Dementia Friendly projects, said:
“Our work is all about empowering participants to speak about their experience of dementia in creative, sociable and collaborative ways to reduce stigma and increase health and wellbeing. We want to acknowledge PLWD as experts in their own experience and to present opportunities to take part in creative activities that are meaningful to them. I’ve been blown away by the level of artistic ingenuity they have shown, in their writing, singing, performing and artwork showcased in the activities in this, World Alzheimer’s Month, and beyond. It has demonstrated that a dementia diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of our cultural lives but indeed can be a catalyst for them to flourish.”