Thursday, 05 December 2013
Get your copy of Just what I need now!
Earlier this year, after many years of caring for her elderly parents who both have Alzheimer's diesease, Robyn Johnston wrote the song Just what I need about how memory loss affects them and herself, and how her love of music helps get her through when times are difficult.
Production of the CD Just what I need began shortly after Robyn became a finalist in the the Gore Gold Guitars in June. Prior to that, she had been singing with a country music club.
Robyn says that the musicians involved with the CD were of the highest calibre: "I was very fortunate that Andy Gilmour from Boot Hill Productions had such a great team with him. There was of course Andy Gilmour himself (bass), Phil Doublet (Lead), Marcel Rodeka (Drums), Peter Kesha (Keyboards), Paddy Long (Pedal Steel) and Cath Short (Backing Vocals)."
In launching Just what I need, Robyn decided to go big, hiring one of Dunedin’s largest and iconic venues, the Mayfair Theatre (which seats 407). She asked Dunedin’s top band the Oxo Cubans to back her on the launch night and proceeded to get coverage from radio stations, local TV and newspapers.
She explained, "In doing it this way, I was able to get my message out there about how the CD had come about, and how I had wanted to release a CD that my parents could enjoy before their memories faded and they forgot who I was. The CD launch was a success, a full house and the absolute best night of my life. My parents enjoyed their night, and what astounded me the most is that it was firmly in their memory for a few weeks which I never expected."
Robyn has kindly offered to donate $5 to Alzheimers NZ from each CD sold to our Members and friends.
We're very grateful to Robyn for generously offering to donate a portion of the proceeds to help us make life better for everyone affected by dementia - and we think this would make a great Christmas gift!
To order please contact Robyn at: email@example.com
CDs cost $25 per copy + $3.50 postage & packaging (delivery in the Dunedin area is free).
Robyn is also happy to sign and Christmas gift wrap CDs for you at no extra cost.
Please remember to quote ALZHEIMERS NZ in your message, and we will receive a donation on your purchase.
Robyn's music is currently playing on New Zealand radio stations and she is planning further live performances, so keep an eye out for her in the future too!
Thursday, 05 December 2013
In the early stages of dementia, people can live active, healthy lives but may begin to notice subtle changes. Here are some helpful gift ideas:
Items that may help with remembering
- magnetic reminder refrigerator pads and Post-It notes,
- baskets or trays that can be labelled within cabinets or drawers
- a pocket-sized diary or notebook
- erasable white boards for key rooms in the house
- a calendar with special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries written in
Items that may help with daily activities
- a memory phone that can store pictures with the names and contact information of family and friends
- automatic medication dispenser that can help the person living with dementia to remember to take his/her medicine
- nightlights that come on automatically when its gets dark
- a clock with the date and time in large type
- plan an outing to a movie, play or concert, sporting event, museum, a shopping outing with friends and family, or possible an organised holiday.
- favourite CDs or videos/DVDs
- activities or craft projects that are social in nature.
You might like to think twice before buying some gifts. For example, giving electronics may seem like a good idea to make life easier for someone with dementia, but that isn’t always the case. If you decide to give someone with dementia a new piece of electronic equipment, remember to review the operating instructions with them slowly and more than once. Make a copy of the instructions for the person with dementia and for yourself, so you can talk them through the process on the phone if you need to.
Moderate / Late Stages
People in the later stages of dementia generally need assistance with day-to-day activities as the condition progresses and symptoms worsen. Here are some helpful gift ideas:
Items that provide sensory stimulation
In the later stages of the dementia, sensory stimulation may bring back pleasant memories. Gifts could include:
- scented lotions
- a fluffy bathrobe in a favourite colour
- a soft blanket to keep the person warm
Comfortable, easy to remove, easily washable clothes such as:
- sweat suits
- large banded socks
- shoes with Velcro fasteners
- wrinkle free nightgowns, nightshirts and robes
Research shows that music has a positive impact on individuals with dementia, bringing them back to good times, increasing stimulation and providing an opportunity to interact with family members:
- buy a favourite CD or make a compilation of musical favourites
Framed photographs / photo collage
- Copy photos of family members and friends and insert the names of the people in the frame
- Create a labelled photo album specifically for that person
Provided with thanks to Alzheimers Otago
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