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News and Education

Community singing for people with cognitive memory loss

Dementia choirs are popular, well researched, established interventions overseas. Australia is running one of the biggest multi-million-dollar research in the world, looking at the effects of music for those living with dementia and quality of life.

For a few years now there has been interest in piloting one in the Hutt Valley. Rani Allan, owner of Music for Life a private music therapy practice is well known in the Hutt Valley and together with her team, has worked with many people with dementia with great success. One of her clients was Barbara Green, former opera singer who responded well to Rani's warmth and empathy. At the beginning of a session Barbara could be passive and unresponsive, a couple of songs in, her foot would be tapping, then she would be humming and engaging with the music. Music uses many parts of the brain and people with dementia who can no longer speak coherently, can often still sing and thus engage with others. Old memories usually include music, so songs from childhood and youth will be remembered. Barbara particularly loved ‘Pokarekare ana’, ‘You are my Sunshine’ and ‘Madame Butterfly”.

Barbara's partner Jenny asked Rani to sing at Barbara's funeral last year, in part as a tribute to all the many people who helped care for Barbara in the last part of her journey with dementia. Generous donations were made in Barbara's name to Dementia Wellington and together with money from Hutt Council Creative Community Grant and Barbara's estate, sufficient money was raised to support a music group for people with cognitive memory loss in the Hutt Valley.

The group meets fortnightly on a Friday afternoon at 2.30pm for tea and coffee, then singing with Rani from 3pm to 4pm. No musical experience is required and carers are welcome to join in. We meet at Petone Baptist church, 38 Buick street. Vaccination certificates are required and we will operate within Covid restrictions.

Contact Jenny Williams 04 5627124, 027 2219460 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information and to register your interest.

The next session is 4 March, followed by 18 March, 1 April, a break over Easter, then 29 April, 13 May, 27 May, 10 June, 8 July, 22 July, 5 Aug, 19 August, 2nd September, 16 September, 30 September, 14 October, 28 October, 11 November, 25 November, 9 December. It is important to register your contact details in case of any change to this.

Dementia Wellington's Connect Newsletter

Our Connect newsletter has recently moved to an email format. Now designed to be published every two months - it's about keeping you up-to-date with our services, education events, and letting you know about anything that can help with your journey with dementia - either as a person with dementia or a carer. 

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions on how we can make the newsletter more interesting and useful to you by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read the latest Connect 2022 - Rua issue by clicking below: 

Connect 2022 - Rua

 

Previous issues of Connect

Connect 2022 - Tahi

Spring 2021

Christmas 2020

Winter 2020
March 2020
Christmas 2019

Dementia Advisors contact details

 

If you aren't already working with a Dementia Advisor, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 

K­āpiti Dementia Advisor

Sheena Farquhar This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone 020 4069 3919 

 

Porirua Dementia Advisor

Debbie Mustard This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone 020 4176 6629 

 

Central Wellington Dementia Advisor

Tina Carter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone 020 4112 2196

 

Hutt Valley Dementia Advisor/Educator

Sarah Togher This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone  020 4025 2329

 

Dementia Advisor Referrals/Living Well Co-ordinator

Jackie Cole This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  phone 020 4025 2330 

Dementia Wellington Symposium March 2022 postponed to 22 September 2022

After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone the symposium which had been re-scheduled for 8 March 2022.  Many of our speakers are from outside our region, and we feel that the strength of the symposium is the face-to-face networking that occurs. 

A highlight of the symposium will be the opportunity to hear first-hand from people living with dementia in their lives.  We also explore latest innovation and research, with a particular focus on Māori and Pacifica.  For the full programme  that was originally planned for 21 September 2021 SEE HERE (the new programme for Thursday 22 September 2022 will be similar to this).  

The new 2022 Westpac 'Let's talk about Dementia' Symposium will be a one-day event running from 8.30am to 3.30pm on Thursday 22 September at Te Papa, 55 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington.  You are welcome to REGISTER HERE for this event at any time.  Places are limited so register early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets for the Westpac ‘Let's Talk about Dementia’ Symposium are very reasonably priced at $175 or $125 for those of you who work in Not-for-Profit organisations. People with dementia and carers are welcome to attend for FREE (but you still need to register).  

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any queries.

Dementia Essentials seminars - What you need to know about dementia

Dementia Wellington has developed a series of seminars to answer the most common questions we get about dementia.

Each topic will be presented by a subject matter expert, with opportunity for questions and discussion.

These seminars are open to anyone who supports somebody with dementia - you can register for all or just come along to one to find out about a specific topic.

These seminars are free although koha is much appreciated.

Kapiti

VENUE – Loss and Grief Centre, 1C Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu.

TIME - 1pm - 2.30pm  Tuesdays

 Session  Topic
 5 Apr 2022  Understanding Changed Behaviour
 12 Apr 2022   Communicating Effectively
 26 Apr 2022  EPOA responsibilities & Advanced Care Planning
 3 May 2022  Preparing for Day Programme/ Respite/Long term care
 17 May 2022  Staying Engaged and connected
 24 May 2022  Dealing with Grief and Loss

 

To find out more or to register, please contact Sheena Farquhar on 020 4069 3919 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Tawa

VENUE – Tawa Anglican Church, 1 Lyndhurst Road, Tawa, Wellington

TIME - 1.30pm - 3.00pm  Wednesdays

 Session  Topic
13 April 2022  Understanding Changed Behaviour
 20 April 2022   Communicating Effectively
 4 May 2022  EPOA responsibilities & Advanced Care Planning
 11 May 2022  Preparing for Day Programme/ Respite/Long term care
 18 May 2022  Staying Engaged and connected
 25 May 2022  Dealing with Grief and Loss

 

To find out more or to register, please contact Sarah Togher on 020 4025 2329 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Please note - As instructed by the Ministry of Health, all Dementia Wellington staff are fully vaccinated against Covid 19. To minimise risk to our clients, we request that only those that are vaccinated or are exempt from vaccination attend. While we encourage everyone to be vaccinated if possible, we continue to support unvaccinated members of our community by one-on-one appointments, telephone, Zoom or other electronic mediums. 

Dementia Wellington runs lots of activities for people affected by dementia across the wider Wellington region - from Kapiti, Porirua, Wellington and the Hutt Valley. 

These include our Cog Cafes (short for 'Cognition' cafes) which are casual monthly meet-ups for people with dementia and their supporters, family or carers.

There are also regular Supporter Groups that are specifically designed for those who are caring for someone with dementia.

Our Dementia Advisors also run Clinic sessions where they are regularly available for one-on-one advice or even just a listening ear.

There are also other groups that we run, talk to your Dementia Advisor to see if these are right for you.

As we are currently at Traffic Light Orange, please also check our Covid 19 Updates and changes

See our schedule 'What's Coming Up - May, June, July 2022'  for dates, venues and times to help you plan. 

It's never too early to start thinking about Advance Care Planning. We plan for finances, and think about insuring property and contents, so why not do the same for your future health care?

Advance care planning helps you, the important people in your life and your health care team plan for your end-of-life care.

It helps you understand what the future might hold, and to say what health care you would or would not want. This makes it much easier for everyone to understand your wishes – especially if you can no longer speak for yourself.

An advance care plan is a way for people to think about, talk about and share what matters to them now in case they are unable to say it later.

Who would you like to speak for you if you can’t?

Sarah Togher is a Dementia Advisor here at Dementia Wellington. She talks about advance care planning and dementia as part of a new series of videos released by the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

 

You can watch all four videos at: https://bit.ly/3y3CiYG

To find out more and to begin your Advance Care Plan, go to www.myacp.org.nz

Come along to a Navigating Dementia information session!

These ninety-minute information sessions are open to anyone keen to find out more about what dementia is, what to do if you’re concerned about changes in memory or thinking, ideas for living well with dementia, and the support and resources available. 

The seminar covers:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of cognitive impairment,
  • What is and what isn’t dementia,
  • How to maximise brain health and function,
  • Plus the supports and services available for people living with dementia.

Upcoming dates and venues for Navigating Dementia information sessions are:

Karori

4.30 - 6.00pm Thursday, 26 May 2022

Karori Community Centre, 7 Beauchamp Street, Karori

Contact Dementia ​Advisor Tina Carter, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 020 4112 2196

 

Petone

11.00 - 12.30pm Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Dementia Wellington Hub, 55 Hutt Road, Petone

Contact Dementia ​Advisor Sarah Togher, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or phone  020 4025 2329

 

Upper Hutt

5.00 - 6.30pm Monday, 4 July 2022

Upper Hutt Library, 844 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt

Contact Dementia ​Advisor Sarah Togher, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or phone  020 4025 2329

 

Newlands

4.30 - 6.00pm Thursday, 28 July 2022

Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor Street, Newlands

Contact Dementia ​Advisor Tina Carter, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 020 4112 2196

 

This information session is free although a koha is most appreciated.

Please note:

Vaccine passes need to be presented on arrival. Masks and social distancing protocols will be followed as per relevant COVID-19 Protection Framework regulations.  As instructed by the Ministry of Health, all Dementia Wellington staff are fully vaccinated against Covid 19. To minimise risk to our clients, we request that only those that are vaccinated or are exempt from vaccination attend. While we encourage everyone to be vaccinated if possible, we continue to support unvaccinated members of our community by one-on-one appointments, telephone, Zoom or other electronic mediums. 

THANK YOU to the special organisations that allow us to help people living with dementia to stay active and engaged in our community. 

Without the generous funding we receive from trusts, grants, and businesses, many of our Living Well activities and education would not be available.  Click here to read more about our funders.

If you or your person with dementia is finding your usual round of golf is getting to be a bit too much, the Royal Wellington Golf Club offers a golf afternoon with just nine holes and volunteer golfers to provide support.  The team is happy to pick up, bring to the golf course and drop home. Lunch at the golf course is part of the experience. 

Volunteers usually pick up golfers from home at about 10.45am to meet at the Royal Wellington Golf Course clubhouse 11.15am. Lunch is at 11.30am then everyone gathers at the driving range around 12pm. Tee off at 12.30pm on Terrace course for nine holes. Afterwards, everyone meets in the clubhouse for a for cup of tea/coffee at around 3pm. Volunteers then drive the golfer home at around 4pm. 

Cost is $20 per person, including a golf cart for those that need it.  We are grateful to the Royal Wellington Golf Club for generously supporting and subsidising our Assisted Golf programme. 

Please note that previous golf experience is essential.

To register or find out more contact:

John Mathews - phone 027 445 4321 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tone Borren - phone 021 494 130 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.