About Me

My name is Simon O’Donovan MBE. I’ve worked in NHS Wales for most of my adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

I recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service. I continue to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.

 

I've been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive our activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 

 

My colleagues and I have been using these approaches regularly in our day to day work and have found them beneficial. The materials provided have been tried and tested, then refined to improve and further develop them for future use.

 

The main aim of this website is to share our experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.

 

Follow my Twitter feed for updates   @sIMon_deMEntia
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Heroes & Superheroes

May 6, 2019

 

 

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
Christopher Reeve



NEWS ROUND UP

St George's Day was on 23rd April 2019. He is the Patron Saint of England, often portrayed slaying the dragon. St George's Cross is a red cross on a white background.

The Queen's 93rd Birthday was on Easter Sunday. Happy Birthday Mam! (Mam as in ham, not Marm as in smarm, according to the 2006 film ‘The Queen’, starring Helen Mirren.)

Donald Trump's State Visit to the UK has been announced. It will take place on 4th June. Protests are expected, alongside a larger orange blimp.

It was Earth Day on 22nd April and Extinction Rebellion protests continued in London.

David Attenborough suggested the world had just 12 years left before irreparable damage was done and called on governments to declare a Climate Emergency. Jeremy Corbyn, Leader Of The Opposition, agreed and did so.

Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager, very impressively addressed UK politicians and media, urging them to do more to protect future generations from climate change impacts.

Some things for members to think about (ask them to comment):

Eating less red meat / becoming vegan
Planting trees / keeping a nature friendly garden
Eating locally produced food / buying from local farm shops
Growing your own / keeping an allotment
Avoiding single use plastics / use a ‘bag for life’
Recycling / reducing rubbish sent to landfill sites
Picking up litter / taking part in beach clean ups
Investing in solar / using less power generally
Riding a bike or walking / using the car less, or not having one
Using public transport / over 60s bus pass (in Wales)
Fewer air miles / UK holidays (staycations)
Reducing carbon footprint generally / turning down the central heating to 19c.

Apparently, it was the warmest Easter weekend the UK had experienced since records began. Another indicator of global warming and climate change, perhaps.

Sadly Shri Lanka has suffered terrorist attacks on churches on Easter Sunday. The death toll has reached 253.


 

 

 


HEROES

Getting on to this week's CST session theme, it was the 80th anniversary of the first Superman comic on 18th April. Also, it was ‘National Superhero Day’ on 28th April.

However, we decided to start our discussions focusing on real life heroes and heroines. People that generally enrich society and who should be honoured for it.

We asked, who are members’ heroes or heroines?
It could be someone famous, or somebody that they know personally and hold in high regard.

It could be somebody that they would like to meet and get their autograph of have a selfie taken with. Or somebody they would like to invite round for dinner or buy a drink for down the pub.

Has anyone met anyone famous? Take this opportunity to encourage story telling.

What type of heroes can people think of. Here's a list:

War heroes
Olympians
Paralympians
Sporting heroes
Firefighters
Police
Ambulance
RNLI
NHS heroes
Mountain rescue
Armed forces - Army, Navy, RAF

We especially noted the bravery of the cave rescuers last year who successfully brought a children’s football team out of flooded caves to safety.


We discussed how heroes are honoured in the UK?
It could be on the news or in media print, with heroes welcomes and open top bus tours of city, being given the keys of the city, having a golden letterbox in your honour, or being awarded a Queen’s medal.

We noted the ‘Honours System’ and the various ranks of honours awarded by Government and HM Queen. The main ones are ...

MBE - Member Of The British Empire
OBE - Order Of The British Empire
CBE - Commander Of The British Empire
KBE - Knight Commander
DBE - Dame Commander

We asked if anyone knew any person who has been awarded one of the honours for their public service and if so, for what particular reasons.


The London Marathon had taken place this week. We asked members the following questions.

Over what distance is the London Marathon run?
26.2 MILES

How many years has it been running for (boom boom!)?
39TH ANNIVERSARY

How many runners take part?
40,000 ARE EXPECTED TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE

Where does the race start and finish?
BLACKHEATH & THE MALL

We looked at news stories related to it, including the lady who crawled over the finish line and the man who couldn’t get under it because his Big Ben outfit was so tall.


We noted that many runners in the London Marathon do so to raise money for charities and worthy causes. Members thought of their favourite UK or overseas charities and guessed at those which may feature in the top 10 list.

Here it is ...

1 Cancer Research UK - £446.5m raised out of a total income of £634.9m

2 British Heart Foundation - £263.8m, £288.2m

3 Macmillan Cancer Support - £214.1m, £218.4m

4 Oxfam - £192.8m, £401.4m

5 Sightsavers - £184.7m, £199.7m

6 RNLI - £170.9m, £190.1m

7 British Red Cross - £139.1m, £261.8m

8 Salvation Army - £130m, £196.3m

9 Save the Children - £125.3m, £370.3m

10 NSPCC - £115.3m, £125.9m

Before finishing on this topic, we noted the fantastic work of the Alzheimer’s Society and Young Dementia UK, who work tirelessly to reduce stigma and raise public awareness of dementia related conditions. A few members had gone on ‘Memory Walks’ recently.

We also noted the massive contribution made to society by an army of unpaid volunteers.


 

 



ICONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

In January 2019, the BBC asked its viewers to assess the achievements of the 20th century's most important and influential figures – men and women who helped shape our world today.

Seven programmes were devoted to seven different categories of human excellence, and each one introduced four extraordinary individuals in the categories of Leaders, Explorers, Scientists, Entertainers, Activists, Sports and Artists & Writers.

The greatest icon of them all was announced in the final programme on the 5th of February.

Print off the images linked above (click on photo) for the tables and ask members to vote for their favourite. Also, ask if any icons are missing from the list as you go through category.

Another way of approaching this would be from the images on the table, and the names of icons members wish to add, re rank the finalists and overall winner.

Here’s the website link https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/TftBcdwzpP4y7qlzXmXRTy/about-the-show



LEADERS SHORTLIST

Winston Churchill
Lived: 1874-1965
Born: Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Known for: Britain’s eccentric but victorious wartime Prime Minister.

Nelson Mandela
Lived: 1918-2013
Born: Mvezo, South Africa
Known for: Freedom fighter who became South Africa’s first black president.

Franklin D Roosevelt
Lived: 1882-1945
Born: Hyde Park, New York, USA
Known for: America’s longest serving president. Led the US out of the Great Depression.

Margaret Thatcher
Lived: 1925-2013
Born: Grantham, Lincolnshire
Known for: Moderniser and Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

Not shortlisted: Dwight Eisenhower (American Army General and 34th US President. Lived 1890-1969), Mikhail Gorbachev (Eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union. Lived 1931-Present) & Lech Walesa (Polish trade union activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner 1993 and President. Lived 1943-Present)

LEADERS WINNER: Nelson Mandela


EXPLORERS SHORTLIST

Neil Armstrong
Lived: 1930-2012
Born: Wapakoneta, Ohio, US
Known for: First man on the moon

Ernest Shackleton
Lived: 1874-1922
Born: Kilkea, Ireland
Known for: Polar explorer and pioneer. Led the famous ‘Endurance’ expedition.

Gertrude Bell
Lived: 1868-1926
Born: Washington, Tyne & Wear, UK
Known for: The first western woman to map and travel across Arabia.

Jane Goodall
Lived: 1934-present
Born: London, UK
Known for: Primatologist who revolutionised the study of wild chimpanzees.

Not shortlisted: Amelia Earhart (First female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic. Disappeared aged 39 on 2nd July 1937), Edmund Hillary (First to conquer Mount Everest in 1953), Robert Falcon Scott (Antarctic explorer died on the failed Terra Nova Expedition 29th March 2012)

EXPLORERS WINNER: Ernest Shackleton


SCIENTISTS SHORTLIST

Marie Curie
Lived: 1867-1934
Born: Warsaw, Poland
Known for: Physicist and chemist who discovered radium and polonium.

Albert Einstein
Lived: 1879-1955
Born: Ulm, Germany
Known for: Physicist whose great thoughts allowed us to better understand the universe.

Alan Turing
Lived: 1912-1954
Born: London, UK
Known for: Considered the father of the computer and World War Two code-breaker.

Tu Youyou
Lived: 1930-present
Born: Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China
Known for: Pharmaceutical chemist whose research helped saved millions of lives (discovered a new treatment for malaria)

SCIENTISTS WINNER: Alan Turing

Not shortlisted: Sigmund Freud (Theory of Psychoanalysis. Lived 1856-1939), Francis Crick & James Watson (Discovered the double helix structure of DNA in 1953) & Florence Nightingale (Founder of modern nursing. Lived 1820-1910)


ENTERTAINERS SHORTLIST

David Bowie
Lived: 1947-2016
Born: London, UK
Known for: An innovator constantly at music’s cutting edge.

Charlie Chaplin
Lived: 1889-1977
Born: London, UK
Known for: The world’s first global movie star.

Billie Holiday
Lived: 1915-1959
Born: Philadelphia, USA
Known for: Jazz singer whose sultry style stirred the world’s soul.

Marilyn Monroe
Lived: 1926-1962
Born: Los Angeles, USA
Known for: The actress who defined her times.

ENTERTAINERS WINNER: DAVID BOWIE

Not shortlisted: Richard Burton (Stage and film actor, lived 1925-84), John Lennon (Singer songwriter and peace activist, lived 1940-80) & Frank Sinatra (Performer and actor, lived 1915-98)


ACTIVISTS SHORTLIST

Dr Martin Luther King Jr
Lived: 1929-1968
Born: Atlanta, USA
Known for: American civil rights leader who campaigned for black rights.

Mohandas Gandhi
Lived: 1869-1948
Born: Porbandar, India
Known for: Leader of the Indian independence movement.

Helen Keller
Lived: 1880-1968
Born: Tuscumbia, Atlanta, USA
Known for: A writer who confounded attitudes by proving her disability was not debilitating.

Emeline Pankhurst
Lived: 1858-1928
Born: Manchester, UK
Known for: Suffragette and campaigner for women’s votes in Britain.

ACTIVISTS WINNER: DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

Not shortlisted: John F Kennedy (Elected 1961 as 35th President of the USA. Provided federal support for the civil rights movement. Lived 1917-63), Rosa Parks (Known as the First Lady of the civil rights movement. Lived 1913-2005), Peter Tatchell (Human rights and LGBT activist. Lived 1952-Present)


SPORTS SHORTLIST

Muhammad Ali
Lived: 1942-2016
Born: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Known for: As the boxer said himself, he was “the greatest”.

Tanni Grey-Thompson
Lived: 1969-Present
Born: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Known for: Paralympian and wheelchair racer who won over the world as well as her races.

Billie Jean King
Lived: 1943-Present
Born: Long Beach, California, USA
Known for: Grand slam-winning tennis player who revolutionised the women’s game.

Pele
Lived: 1940-Present
Born: Três Corações, Brazil
Known for: The living, kicking essence of Brazilian football.

SPORTS WINNER: MUHAMMAD ALI

Not shortlisted: Roger Bannister (First to run a mile in under 4 minutes, in 1954. Lived 1929-2018), Martina Navratilova (Considered one of the best female tennis players of all time. Defected to the USA from Communist Czechoslovakia in 1975. Lived 1956-Present) & Michael Phelps (Most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals in Swimming. Lived 1985-Present)


ARTISTS & WRITERS SHORTLIST

Alfred Hitchcock
Lived: 1899-1980
Born: London, UK
Known for: Forward-looking film director and master of the thriller genre.

Pablo Picasso
Lived: 1881-1973
Born: Malaga, Spain
Known for: Pioneering, genre-smashing modern artist.

Andy Warhol
Lived: 1928-1987
Born: Pittsburgh, USA
Known for: Pop artist who saw art everywhere.

Virginia Woolf
Lived: 1882-1941
Born: London, UK
Known for: An author who rewrote the rules of writing.

ARTISTS & WRITERS WINNER: PABLO PICASSO

Not shortlisted: Agatha Christie (A prolific crime author, writing over 66 titles and celebrated across the world. Lived 1890-1976), James Joyce (Regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of 20th century. Lived 1882-1941) & Harper Lee (American novelist who wrote the seminal work, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, published in 1960. Lived 1926-2016)


OVERALL WINNER: ALAN TURING
He was a mathematical genius, who provided the foundation for the modern computer.
Working at Bletchley Park in the Second World War, he invented a machine which broke the Enigma Code and saved thousands of lives.
Imprisoned for being gay, his legacy helped change social attitudes in Britain.


ICONS OF 21ST CENTURY

Perhaps finish this section of this week’s CST activities by asking, who would this centuries icons be so far?
Suggestions could include: Barack Obama, Stephen Hawking, David Attenborough & Steve Jobs


 

 


SUPERHEROES FOCUS OF THIS WEEK'S THEME
/ MUSIC QUIZ

Link to Spotify Playlist here ...

https://open.spotify.com/user/1154769589/playlist/36hyLJJ97jQ3VyzaQRKepM?si=B2o4W7jpTa6XjVChqYvjvA


If members were to be gifted with a super power which would they choose and why? Here's a list of possibilities:

Invisibility
Ability to fly
Time travel
X ray vision
Amplified hearing
Super strength
Mind reading
Telepathy
Levitation
Powers of healing
Longevity

Ask members to discuss pros and cons of each.


(MUSIC)
What 1970s US show featured a character named Steve Austin, who was gifted with many of these superpowers after reconstructive surgery following a serious accident?
SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN

Who starred in this show?
LEE MAJORS

(MUSIC)
Who was Batman’s sidekick?
ROBIN

What was Batman’s real name?
BRUCE WAYNE

Who was his butler?
ALFRED PENNYWORTH

Which ‘bird’ was his enemy?
THE PENGUIN

Others included?
THE JOKER, THE RIDDLER

(MUSIC)
What was Spiderman’s real name?
PETER PARKER

How did Spiderman acquire his gift?
HE WAS BITTEN BY A RADIOACTIVE SPIDER

(MUSIC)
What was The Incredible Hulk’s real name?
BRUCE BANNER

What made him turn green?
IF HE WAS ANGERED IN ANY WAY

What is he searching for?
A CURE FOR THE GAMMA RADIATION WHICH CONTAMINATED HIM

(MUSIC)
Who starred in the first Superman film in 1978?
CHRISTOPHER REEVE

Who was his alter ego? CLARK KENT

And his female counterpart? LOIS LANE

What planet did he come from? KRYPTON

Where did he work?
DAILY PLANET

(MUSIC)
Who was Robin Hood feared and loved by?
FEARED BY THE BAD, LOVED BY THE GOOD

Who was his girlfriend?
MAID MARIAN

Who were his ‘Merry Men’?
LITTLE JOHN, WILL SCARLET, FRIAR TUCK, MUCH THE MILLER’S SON & OTHERS

Where did they live?
SHERWOOD FOREST

Who was his arch enemy?
THE SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM

(MUSIC)
Who was Flash Gordon’s nemesis?
MING THE MERCILESS

How long did Flash have to save the world?
FOURTEEN HOURS

What power did Flash Gordon have?
SUPERSPEED

(MUSIC)
What did the masked hero Zorro write with his sword on his enemies?
Z

Who starred as Zorro in the 1998 movie ‘The Mask Of Zorro’?
ANTONIO BANDERAS

Who played his love interest, Elena?
CATHERINE ZETA-JONES

Who is she married to?
MICHAEL DOUGLAS

(MUSIC)
Who starred in the Indiana Jones movies?
HARRISON FORD

What are the four movies?
‘RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK’, 1981
‘INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM’, 1984
‘INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE’, 1989
‘INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL’, 2008

Who co-starred as Indie’s father in the third film?
SEAN CONNERY

(MUSIC)
What was Tarzan’s proper name?
LORD GREYSTOKE

What was his monkey’s name?
CHEETAH

Which 5-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer played Tarzan in a whopping 12 films, beginning with the 1932 smash hit ‘Tarzan the Ape Man’?
JOHNNY WEISSMULLER

Ask members to do their best Tarzan call ...

(MUSIC)
What was Hong Kong Phooey's name and occupation?
HENRY THE MILD MANNERED JANITOR

What animal was he?
A DOG (SPANIEL)

(MUSIC)
Who starred as Wonder Woman?
LYNDA CARTER

How did she change into Wonder Woman?
SHE SPUN AROUND

(MUSIC)
How did Popeye acquire his strength?
EATING SPINACH

Who was his girlfriend?
OLIVE OIL

And his arch enemy?
BLUTO

(MUSIC)
Who starred in 'The Champions'?
ALEXANDRA BASTEDO, WILLIAM GAUNT, STUART DAMON & ANTHONY NICHOLLS

What were their special powers to solve crime?
TELEPATHY & PRECOGNITON

(MUSIC)
Who starred as Harry Potter?
DANIEL RADCLIFFE

What about Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley?
EMMA WATSON & RUPERT GRINT

What 'Class' were they in?
GRYFFINDOR (THE OTHERS WERE SLYTHERIN, RAVENCLAW & HUFFLEPUFF)

All first-years at Hogwarts School Of Wizardry must take seven core subjects. What are they?
TRANSFIGURATION, CHARMS, POTIONS, HISTORY OF MAGIC, DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS, ASTRONOMY & HERBOLOGY. FLYING LESSONS ON BROOMSTICKS ARE ALSO COMPULSORY

What game did Harry compete in?
QUIDDITCH

(MUSIC)
Holding Out For A Hero - Bonnie Tyler
Which company produced most of the superhero comics?
MARVEL COMICS

What heroes have we missed from our discussion?
IRON MAN
CAPTAIN AMERICA
MIGHT MOUSE
WOLVERINE
(There may be others. Let me know if I've missed any obvious ones!)

(MUSIC)
Heroes - David Bowie
"We can be heroes, just for one day." So goes the lyric.
Has anyone ever done anything they would consider heroic, brave or good?
Has anyone saved or rescued someone or an animal?
Or been in the papers or credited elsewhere for an act of courage or for their contribution to society?
Or been awarded a Queen's medal or other honour for something they have done?
Or jumped out of a plane, run a marathon or walked a mile or done anything else for charity?
Perhaps if not them they might have a story to tell about a family member or friend?

(MUSIC)
We Are The Champions - Queen
Thinking back to the 20th Century Icons pictures round, guess at who said the following famous phrases?

"Everyone is famous for 15 minutes." - ANDY WARHOL
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." - MUHAMMAD ALI
"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be." - WINSTON CHURCHILL
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." - NEIL ARMSTRONG
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance, you must keep moving." - ALBERT EINSTEIN
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - CHARLIE CHAPLIN
"I'm not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful." - MARILYN MONROE
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - MARTIN LUTHER KING

(MUSIC)
Simply The Best - Tina Turner
Ask members to say what they are simply the best at (or suggest their greatest gift or asset based on your biographical assessment). Give a round of applause for each person as they are mentioned.


PROVERBS AND IDIOMS

Ask members to complete the following phrases:

Go from zero to - HERO
Courage of your - CONVICTIONS
Dutch - COURAGE
Put on a brave - FACE
Fortune favours the - BRAVE
Famous for fifteen - MINUTES
Become famous - OVERNIGHT
One in a - MILLION
Claim to - FAME
Stand out from the - CROWD
In the public - EYE
A household - NAME
Super - STAR
Unsung - HERO


 

 


PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES

Help members make Hollywood Walk Of Fame Stars for themselves. Perhaps pre prepare cut outs.
Help members write their names with a flourish in bold ink in the centre of the star and adorn them with as much colour and glitter as possible.
(Walk Of Fame Stars have five categories: motion pictures, television, recording, radio and live performance, each represented by an emoji under the person's name of a film camera, TV, microphone, radio and drama masks. Maybe choose an emoji from the internet to represent members' greatest gift or an area which they have excelled in...

Have some Heroes Chocolates on hand to pass around.

 

 

 

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