ALZHEIMER’S: BILL GATES TO THE RESCUE?

 

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Bill and Melinda Gates

Finally!

We have someone of substance, indeed a philanthropist of global renown, with a voice that people of all persuasions will listen too. A man with a major Foundation, able to lead and bring huge finance forward and join the battle to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Nothing has ever been easy with regard to this disease that millions suffer, but step by step Bill Gates believes that one day there will be a cure and he is determined to lead.

I am including within this blog highlights of interviews he has given to various media outlets this past week and the link to a complete transcript of an exclusive interview with CNN Health.

I love that Bill Gates is focusing on prevention and am quietly pleased and reassured that our own Memory Matters vision on Brain Health is being validated by his words and thoughts that he personally has discovered by speaking with the leading research scientists of our era.

Before reading Bill Gates remarkable contribution please take a look at a recent  impact analysis from the Alzheimer’s Association of America. 

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Now read extracts from Bill Gates recent  interviews and announcements:

” I first became interested in Alzheimer’s because of its costs—both emotional and economic—to families and healthcare systems. The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify.

A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition. Unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses.

If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades.”

“This is something I know a lot about, because men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer’s. I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.”

“My family history isn’t the sole reason behind my interest in Alzheimer’s. But my personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease. We’ve seen scientific innovation turn once-guaranteed killers like HIV into chronic illnesses that can be held in check with medication. I believe we can do the same (or better) with Alzheimer’s.”

Please click on the link to read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN  Interview with Bill Gates.
At Memory Matters we are constantly researching practical ways to promote awareness of the importance of Brain Health. In some cases a dementia diagnosis might (there is no guarantee) be prevented by early adoption of preventative measures involving lifestyle. For example, adopting a Mediterranean diet, exercising regularly in a moderate manner, socializing to the fullest extent possible and, continuing to learn new things each week. The latter is something we work very hard at in our Connections classes especially designed to assist those with mild memory loss or mild cognitive impairment.

 

For more information about Memory Matters, Brain Health and our programs, please call 1 843 842 6688. We also provide confidential memory screenings.

BRAIN AEROBICS

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“The growth of the human mind is still high adventure, in many ways the highest adventure on earth” – Norman Cousins

Now my sweet and lovely eight year old Grand Daughter does not need to attend Memory Matters “Brain Boosters” program. Evidently she already knows much more than her Parents and Grandparents combined! She is practicing “Brain Aerobics”! It is true that our brains are amazing at any and every age and this young lady is a good example of someone born with a curious mind and who is enjoying using it to accumulate knowledge as fast as she possibly can!

This blog is a return to one of my favorite Memory Matters topics. The Brain Boosters Program, designed for those of us who still think we are young in heart, spirit and able to compete in mental gymnastics with eight year olds! I was like that last year when my wife Barbara and I joined the Fall program. We considered that we had perfect memories and rarely needed our memories nudging…………….well almost!

So if you are honest, tell me, are you like me?

  • Are you someone who misplaces his glasses regularly only to find them in the garage, car or, far worse, hanging around your neck?
  • Do you misplace your car keys?
  • Do you forget your shopping list? Now you have Amazon’s “Alexa”, do you forget to put the milk on her list!
  • Do you know where you parked your car at Walmart?
  • Do you muddle up your Grandkids names or sometimes call one of them the name of their pet dog?
  • Do you forget the date, or precisely what your wife asked you remember to do for her? “Never” you shout out loud, but…………………..
  • Do you forget appointments or forget to make a note of them?
  • Do you lose track of time?

My questions are all asked with a smile on the face of this sixty something year old guy! As we grow older none of us have perfect memories but, we can improve and now is the time to learn some knew ways to compensate for “normal aging”. There are so many myths about aging and the first thing you will learn at Brain Boosters is to differentiate between myth and reality.

So please sign up and join 34 other forward thinking people for an 8 week program commencing on Tuesday May 2nd. The program will be held every Tuesday through June 20th and each session will run from 10am to 12 noon. The venue is the TidePoint Club House and the fee is only a one time payment of $199.

One of the best things you can do for your brain wellness is to learn something new each week. It could be a song, a recipe, a poem, or something meaningful in your life. e.g how to become a Memory Matters Volunteer perhaps; or like me 12 months ago, you might start researching and writing a blog! Joining Brain Boosters would be a step in the right direction.

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Join us to learn:

  • How emotions impact the formation of memories. Learn about the limbic system often referred to as our emotional brain.
  • How automatic negative thoughts (“ANTS”) impact our brain health, and be shocked at just how many tens of thousands of negative thoughts impact the average brain every day of the week! Ah! But what can we do to crush them?
  • Learn how to exercise your brain by understanding how to balance reacting versus responding.
  • Learn good and proven memory techniques aka mnemonics. How to remember names, places, and the last item on the shopping list. You will astonished at how these techniques work in every day real life!
  • How our five senses impact memories.
  • How important nutrition and exercise are to a healthy brain. The program is able to give positive examples.
  • Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation are centuries old techniques for brain stress reduction. We will review them and provide examples.

Speaking from personal experience I can assure you that this is an enjoyable class and the program leader will quickly develop a great sense of camaraderie in this failure free environment. The 35 students will together have a common goal of learning how to exercise and take care of their brains. The students will be invested, engaged and interactive, and thus a supportive and uplifting community develops from day one!

This is not a strict lecture style class, and every week there will be a new topic to discover and consider, often with group work and role playing to learn new skills and to reinforce what has been learned.

There is always much humor and many like me come to the program with their spouse or a good friend.

For those of you who devote much time and energy to a fitness regime and good nutrition please do not forget that the 3lbs of “squidgy” muscle called your brain deserves the same level of attention……………perhaps more!

So do not delay, these programs fill up fast. 

You will be welcome!

Please share this if you believe it would help someone. Call 1 843 842 6688 Memory Matters office for more information. It’s always confidential. Consider joining our next Brain Boosters program or finding our more about our Connections program. We are a phone call away, here in your local community.

BRAIN FITNESS

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“Don’t count the days, make the days count!”

-Muhammed Ali

Like many of you, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to improve my fitness. Last year’s frequent personal travel to Europe was not conducive to keeping fit or going to the gym, so this year is going to to be different! Right?! Well, I resigned with my friend and personal trainer John Duberley of TruFit over at the Power House Gym and he assures me that I can recover my fitness and take off the er……few pounds that I put on last year. If a US Navy Veteran tells you this, it is wise to listen up!

Now John is a pragmatic optimist and believes in more than physical fitness. He is insistent that my exercise must be supplemented by a controlled and consistent nutritious diet. He told me in no uncertain words that it was the key to good physical and mental health.  So it was appropriate for me to tell him about Memory Matters first 20th Anniversary event of 2017, namely the Memory Fest on January 12th at the Hilton Head Beach and Tennis Club. At once his ears pricked up and he questioned me closely on what we hoped to achieve. He became so interested that both he and his girlfriend (another Personal Trainer) actually gave up a whole day to come and listen to the presentation by Cathee, Melissa and Karen.  They also brought two enthusiastic fitness guests.

They were not disappointed, and spent three hours in our company and that of at least 150 more folk who joined us for the presentation.

As John put it to me, people will spend much time and money on physical fitness and nutrition but will they spend an equal amount of time on Brain Health? The answer is usually “no”. He understands why it is so important to keep that “squiggy” little 3lbs of muscle in top form.

The Fest drew from Memory Matters Brain Booster program that I have mentioned before and personally attended together with my wife Barbara. Brain Boosters runs for ten weeks, just a couple of hours a week crammed full of surprises that will get your brains attention in more ways than one. At $199 for the complete program its a steal.

On Thursday we learned the outline:

  • How our brain learns and remembers
  • How emotions impact your brain and memory
  • How automatic negative thoughts (ANTS) can be controlled to improve brain function.

If you have not signed up for the next Brain Boosters program commencing on January 26th, now is the time to do so. It runs from 10.30am to 12 noon one day per week for ten weeks. Just like keeping physically fit and eating well this program applies at any age.

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Prior to joining Memory Fest in the afternoon I was engaged in my usual volunteer role with the Connections Club at Memory Matters. There the Club Members, with either early diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment, get to stretch and stimulate their brains in a failure free environment.

Now reflecting back on the Memory Fest topics, I do not recall anyone of our Club Members expressing negative thoughts! Rather they were happy to be socializing, learning, and trying to remember their friends names by association or imagery and, they were endeavoring to set New Year memory resolutions for themselves. Some Club Members wrote down four or more resolutions but we challenged them to each remember just one and to pursue it through the whole of 2017. Every week we will return to the resolutions to follow up.  No-one person chose anything too stretching or impossible. Some people chose to read a particular type of book or story, others to listen to a new piece of music or complete a crossword puzzle. Perhaps they want to explore some new place to vacation in. The point was that we were searching for them to a) challenge themselves and b) if possible, seek to do something new.

I always like to play a little music whenever I volunteer and on Thursday I encouraged a new Club member to join me in singing a song with the other Club members. He said he didn’t sing……………but you know he did! It was really gratifying to see the pleasure on his face when he achieved something he thought impossible.

If you believe that the content of this post will help someone please pass it on. If you know of someone who needs confidential help just ask them too call us at 1 843 842 6688. The number is on the front page of our website http://www.memory-matters.org.

BACK HOME AGAIN

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May I wish everyone a Happy and healthy New Year!

One of my many New Year’s resolutions is to avoid any trips to Europe in 2017! Readers of these chronicles will have counted six trips last year and, simply put, Barbara and I are happy to be back home!

Personally we are both very optimistic about this year. How could we be anything else with three lovely Grandkids close by trying to keep us young at heart.

You may recall from an earlier post that our Program Director Cathee Stegall gave me some great ideas to use as the Care Partner with my ailing Mother while in England. Specifically to a) buy a guitar, play and sing and b), to stimulate my Mum’s significantly impaired memory by explaining to her that I wanted to write a book about her life so that I might present it to her beloved Great-Grandchildren. I can now happily tell my readers that up until the very end of her life she would concentrate really well when I pursued these questions. I could speak about many other things but this opportunity to record the story of her life for her Great-Grandkids was amazingly engaging and therapeutic for both she and I, and it tended to distract her away from the obvious discomfort and anxiety that she was experiencing.

We know too that music is therapeutic and she always listened to my songs and hymns. She would simply say: “that was nice”!  So my own experience as a Care Partner (or Care Giver) was ultimately a positive one helped in part by two outstanding practical ideas from Cathee.

I’m currently writing the book on my Mum’s early life and hope to present it to our Grandkids soon.

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I am back in my normal (I like “normal”) volunteer role at Memory Matters and my eyes are enjoying the vision that Memory Matters is laying out and sharing for the future of our not-for-profit Low Country Community  Memory Care Resource. There really is so much to say and communicate, all of which is good. So let me start back here with an overview.

I have just read the Island Packet article on the management change this year at Memory Matters. I would strongly recommend also reading the lovely article in the Hilton Head Monthly (January edition page 110/111). Our Executive Director, Edwina Hoyle, is starting a well earned retirement at the end of February and handing over the reins to Sheila Strand, who joins us with a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience plus the passion and motivation to lead Memory Matters on to new heights.

It is two years since this volunteer started as a complete ‘rookie’ in the world of dementia and memory care services and it is impossible not to be impressed with Edwina’s  (“Eddy”) vast contribution which dates back 12 years. Since then the operation has grown and the services provided have grown too. The “cool” thing through my eyes being that Eddy and her staff have continuously refined the programs and services. Even in my two years with Memory Matters the scope of the programs have changed and, where they find something that works well, they go all out to embrace that as an opportunity for improvement everywhere.

The bottom line being that we serve the Care Givers (or Care Partners as I tend to personally call them), and we do everything possible to promote an extended quality of life for the dementia sufferer and maximize the time the Care Giving family can keep their loved one at home. Innovative programs like Brain Boosters and the Connections Club are classic examples of positive program enhancements introduced in the Eddy era for which we and the community are eternally grateful.

As I write we are completing the renovation to our Hilton Head facility which will provide  additional meeting room space and allow us to significantly increase the daily programs that we run. Rather than just one program per day we will be able to run two!

This is Memory Matters 20th Anniversary Year and there are a number of commemorative events for you to participate in with us. They are listed in the Hilton Head Monthly but will also appear on our web site http://www.memory-matters.org. I will continue my practice of adding them to my blog in the events column too.

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I couldn’t possibly sign off this first post in 2017 without a mention of the new “Memory Matters Minstrels” who play and sing led by Kirby and his friends on Tuesday mornings. They can bring anywhere from five to eight musicians with them. They are good musicians, hugely entertaining and funny! Oh! And they invite Volunteer Mike to play and sing with them. So they are brave too!

Just another really popular change brought in during Eddy’s tenure, for which we truly thank her.

Here below are the Minstrels singing on Tuesday this week.

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“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”

-Victor Hugo

If you believe this could help someone please do share it, or just get them to call us confidentially at 1 843 842 6688

 

CHILDREN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Children can, and do, make a difference to the lives of many.

This was clearly evidenced yesterday when two children (Brody aged almost nine (!) and his sister Connor aged seven) spent the morning helping our Program Director Melissa and the volunteers at Memory Matters Connections Club. Brody had previously attended a Social Day Care session and he was anxious to return again and engage with our Club Members. Not wishing to be left out of the fun, his sister was keen to join us too. Naturally Grandad (aka G-Dad) was excited to bring them both to our amazing Connections Club program. As a matter of full disclosure, and in case my readers have not already guessed, these are two of my wonderful Grandchildren! My 16 month old Grandson George Arthur has also previously made an appearance.

It was a happy coincidence that Melissa had set the days theme and program as Family Reunion.

Brody and Connor did a great job helping to personally greet each and every Participant and always with a smile. Brody served up cookies and juice and totally engaged himself in the program. The photos show our “new” Program Director seated at the head of the room debating his sports activities with his able assistant (Melissa!) and telling everyone just how great an athlete his Mom was……..UVA Lacrosse Hall of Fame and US Lacrosse World Cup Gold Medal Winner. Oh yes! His Dad was mentioned as a pretty good golf instructor but Brody delighted in telling everyone that his Mom was the most important person in his home!

Mother Teresa once said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”.

The smiles and laugher were in abundance yesterday and were heartwarming to see.

The morning at Connections was a blur of activity. We attempted to create as many words as possible from the two words: Family Reunion. There are over two hundred and everyone  found at least thirty. To Connor and Brody it was a huge challenge, but our volunteer Judy was the leader in the Clubhouse at the end of the allotted time.

Then we all enjoyed yoga before G-Dad recounted his recent European family reunion adventures with Flat Stanley (a children’s book character) and read from the blog that Brody had requested he write. When I suggested to Brody that he should pay me $10 per page (31 pages of posts in all), one of our noble Participants said “that’s a great deal” which was met with raucous laughter! But I’m not holding my breath!

There followed a sing-along where Connor performed the actions to the “Unicorn” (green alligator) song, and we sang “A Hard Days Night” (Beatles), “Wagon Wheel” (Darius Rucker), and “Side by Side”. The latter being very appropriate with both Brody and I playing guitar.

After a great lunch with fun socialization  we concluded the day with some 60’s music trivia and I am proud to say we were 100% accurate. Well done team!

Finally we spent some quality time talking about our own family reunions and in particular  what we were doing in the 1960’s. My favorite answer from a sporting Participant was that he “was busy chasing skirts”!

Such an enjoyable day. Children do make us relax, leave our worries behind and simply smile!

Please share this if you believe it would help someone.

THE COLOR PURPLE

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When I first decided to write this blog I was given some great advice from Cathee – a wonderful and spirited Program Director at Memory Matters. In order to fast track my learning Cathee  also recommended that I seek out and read other related blogs and this I have done. For your interest I list a few excellent blogs at the end of this post.

Additionally the Alzheimer’s Association  also provides a wealth of information and knowledge and is currently celebrating June as the Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month.

For those of my readers who use Facebook this is the month to “wear some purple”. The Alzheimer’s Association web site provides a simple link to embellish your profile picture with purple and to promote awareness!

A Day in the Life at Memory Matters

http://memorymattershhi.blogspot.com/

Early Onset Alzheimer’s Blog

http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Remember Me, Dad – A Daughter’s Words on Losing Her Dad

https://remembermedadblog.wordpress.com

Dementia Diaries

http://journeywithdementia.blogspot.com

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

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I was just reflecting on my last post, which highlighted the difficult journey experienced by  Caregivers of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

In her introduction to Memory Matters book “Meet Me Where I Am”, our Executive Director -Edwina (“Eddy”) Hoyle – speaks to life’s rich but uniquely challenging tapestry experienced by Caregivers. Eddy speaks to the relentless journey and the “exhausting climb, but at the summit there is a 360 degree vista that offers an amazing, fresh perspective and a new world view”.

As readers of the pages in this blog know, I enjoy music immensely and Eddy’s words reminded me of the famous Don Quixote lyrics from the musical “The Man From La Mancha”:

“The Impossible Dream”.

 

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right without question or cause
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To fight the unbeatable foe, to reach the unreachable star!

This song is dedicated to our Caregivers!

Please share this if you believe it could help someone.

MEET ME WHERE I AM

IMG_0470In the tightly knit world of Memory Matters there are numerous human stories warmly recollected and forever cherished by those who have been touched by them. Whether they are staff, volunteers or the families living with the dementia of a loved one, all these people are seamlessly bound together and are able to articulate stories of hope, perseverance, faith, humor, inspiration and love.

Without any doubt, those who bear the greatest burden are the caregivers, very often a husband, wife or other close family member. In future weeks and months as these real human stories unfold these pages will continue to talk about them in a positive way and,  take you inside the Memory Matters world.

In this post I wanted to look back a little and recommend reading for the first time or, maybe second or third time, the Memory Matters coffee-table book dedicated to our Caregivers. It’s called “Meet Me Where I Am”, and for those interested in buying a copy please go to our website at Memory Matters.

Let me share just one page beautifully authored by one of our Caregivers – Wanda Eastham. Wanda also contributed the original painting on the book’s front cover.

Climb…

Keep moving…

Watch your step.

Find “refreshment” where you can…Cool waters flow to soothe your weary soul.

Absorb every good moment to nourish and cleanse the Self.

Don’t look back…For time has moved on.

If you raise your eyes from the rocky crags…You will see the Light.

Always direct your gaze upward…And the Light will Brighten.

Concentrate on the Forward Glow…And find your “Song of Knowing” to Sing.

Reach as you Climb…Trusting in the Unseen Hand.

You are NOT alone on this Journey.

 

Please share this if you believe it could help someone.

 

 

 

YOUR FIRST STEP

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I made my first step, but what about you?

Earlier this week Memory Matters held an Open House. This was something not previously offered, but we wanted to reach out to the community at large and increase awareness of our near twenty years of memory care experience, resource and innovative programs which has led us to being recognized in the Low Country as:

The Community Resource for Memory Care.

This Community Vision has resulted in the adoption of a Mission that is pro-active, purposeful and focussed, namely:

 Memory Matters is a local not-for-profit center of excellence which improves the quality of life for persons with dementia and their families, providing resources, support, respite and adult day services with compassion and dignity.

I was privileged to be invited to the Open House and met with some really nice people who were genuinely interested in knowing more about Memory Matters with the thought of  becoming a volunteer or directing a loved one (or themselves) to one of our programs.

For those worried about dealing with an early diagnosis of a dementia or mild cognitive impairment it was a wonderful opportunity to reach out and offer them the comforting news that help is to hand. Clearly some of those I spoke to were still coming to terms with the stressful aftermath of a diagnosis and living with a partner suffering with at least some depression and feeling of isolation. This is not at all unusual and such issues tend to impair the memory still further.

The antidote is of course socialization, and the opportunity to stimulate the mind through the types of failure-free programs that we offer – all of which promote a feeling of well being and increased confidence.

Taking the first step and asking for help is not always easy. It was clear through the eyes of this volunteer and from the conversations at the Open House that it can be extremely traumatic and challenging.  As a volunteer, this was the first time I had encountered this problem face to face, although a previous personal family experience had somewhat prepared me.

The people we spoke with were offered the opportunity to spend a day with us (Social Day Care or Connections program as appropriate) as an “observer” with no commitment other than to bring an open mind. This applied both to potential volunteers, and potential participants and their family.

The first step is the hardest, but help is only a phone call away.

Please share this if you believe it could help someone.  

 

SIDE BY SIDE

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Some eighteen months ago a good community friend invited me to attend Memory Matters and observe first hand what it is like to be a volunteer in a memory day care facility.  Bob is that good friend and every Tuesday morning at 10 am, while juice and cookies are being served, he leads the social day care program with “Bob and Mike in the morning hour”.  The program is designed to be welcoming, amusing, informative, musical and always interactive. We usually include some topical news, thought provoking subject matter, jokes, riddles, historical trivia and live music and singing. Bob always starts by expressing a warm welcome and  saying, “its another beautiful day here on Hilton Head Island”! For us it’s always beautiful inside Memory Matters, even on one of the rare days when it rains!

Let me tell you a little about Bob, a modest man who both the staff and participants regard with trust and no small amount of affection. Bob has devoted over four years to volunteering at Memory Matters.

The reason for volunteering at Memory Matters is simple. Bob wanted to give the caregivers some time to themselves. He started volunteering about three months after his mother -in-law, who was a “club member” (participant) for two years passed away. He realized how much he and his wife appreciated the time they had to do errands or just relax while Mom was at “the club”.

Bob was in the US Navy for 22 years. He was a navy pilot flying off aircraft carriers and is a Vietnam vet. With his family he lived in Japan for three years while on sea duty. He also made two deployments to the Mediterranean followed by two tours of duty in DC and was able to attend the Naval War College in Newport RI. Bob’s last flying job was as the commanding officer of a squadron on the USS Nimitz.

After Bob retired from the navy he worked as a civilian contractor supporting the Naval Air Systems Command.

Through my eyes as a more recent volunteer I have witnessed the wisdom and life skills that Bob has brought to Memory Matters; both so important to the continuing success of the dementia day care programs.

Bob’s passion, enthusiasm and leadership skills are something we volunteers can look up to and seek to follow.

Last Tuesday Bob encouraged a discussion on our dreams and the scientific basis for why some people dream often and others not at all. Then there were some good jokes which he always first tests on his lovely wife Carrie to see if they are suitable. Needless to say some don’t make the cut!

Mixed in with the stories were some famous birthdays. It is always fun to discuss famous people with the participants and our preparatory research often leads to amusing or surprising revelations. Last Tuesday was the late Queen Victoria’s birthday and we learned she proposed to her husband Albert, raised nine children and was barely five feet tall while her girth was all of fifty inches! How was that Royal trivia known? Well, her bloomers sold at auction a few years back and the dimension was revealed!

We love for the participants to answer our questions, quizzes and contribute their own ideas to our wide ranging topics. If they can solve our riddles and come up with the right answer to our crazy “tall stories”, that is even more rewarding. Engaging conversation is everything.

We also like to surprise people, especially Melissa, our Program Director! Melissa  was just back from a short but enjoyable trip of a lifetime to Salzburg-Austria. She has always been a huge fan of “The Sound of Music” and was able to retrace the making of the movie in Salzburg. So Bob and your correspondent decided to welcome her home with our own rendition of “Do Re Mi” from the Sound of Music. The participants stepped up to the plate and gave Melissa a rousing performance of this famous song.

It was also Bob Dylan’s birthday and we were able to précis his life story from dropping out of school at the University of Minnesota, to his ground breaking folk music, which in later years rewarded him with Grammy’s, an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize and the highest US civilian award: The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Then we played and sang “It ain’t me babe” as a Memory Matters tribute to the great man.

Not content, we kept singing, including “It’s A Wonderful World”, “King of the Road”and “Side by Side” the latter dating back to 1927, and all of us “young people” seemed to know the words by heart!

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“Side by Side” is perhaps a very appropriate song for us to regularly sing, because  we spend so much time in the company of some really wonderful human beings and in truth we the volunteers and our participants are together going through life:

“Side by Side”.

So the busy first hour was concluded.  The rest of the day too was action packed, but I need to wrap-up this post and will save that story for another day.

I’m just thankful that Bob introduced me to volunteering and helps me to work by his side.

Please share this if you believe it could help someone.