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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2018 Simon O'Donovan. Proudly created with Wix.com  2019

Summer Nights

July 2, 2019

 

 
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time." -John Lubbock

"Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." - Van Morrison
 

NEWS ROUND UP

 

There was a heatwave across most of central Europe last week, with temperatures in France reaching a record temperature of 45.9c. Apparently, roads in Germany melted and people generally struggled to stay cool by staying out of the sun and keeping well hydrated. We discussed who liked hot summer days and who preferred to stay indoors.

 

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were announced as the two final candidates in the Conservative Party leadership competition. We discussed who out of these two would make the best, or least worst, British Prime Minister.

 

The English Women's Football Team had got through to the Semi Finals in the 2019 FIFA World Cup being held in France. Several members had seen the match and commented on the women's compared to the men's game.

 

Paul McCartney was 77 last week. We remembered some of his songs with The Beatles and Wings - 'Let It Be', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Hey Jude', 'Silly Love Songs' etc.

 

Then, of course, June 21st was Midsummer Day. Hence the theme for this week's CST activities page.

 


IDIOMS ABOUT SUMMER

Make hay while the sun SHINES
Lead down the garden PATH
Little ray of SUNSHINE
Head in the CLOUDS
Fresh as a DAISY
Come rain or come SHINE
Chasing RAINBOWS
One swallow does not a summer MAKE
He’s no spring CHICKEN
Let the grass grow under your FEET
Fair weather FRIEND
Indian SUMMER
Hot under the COLLAR
Like a cat on a hot tin ROOF
Full of hot AIR
It’s raining cats and a DOGS
Like a storm in a TEACUP
Take a rain CHECK
The dog days of SUMMER
Travel on a SHOESTRING
Soak up the RAYS / SUN
 

 


DISCUSSION

We moved on to discuss the main theme for this week's session, namely 'Summer Holidays'.

We asked people, by way of introducing themselves to the group, what was their favourite holiday memory or best place they had visited.

We then listed different types of holidays and commented if we had ever been on them and if so what the good things and bad things about them were.

(PRINT OUT THE HOLIDAY PICTURES FOR THE TABLES. ASK THE QUESTIONS

Click on the above photo to link to the Powerpoint)

- Camping holiday (In a tent what are you usually sleeping under? CANVAS OR THE STARS)
- Caravanning holiday (Has anyone stayed at Trecco Bay? Where is it? PORTHCAWL)
- Campervan holiday (Which movement was the VW campervan associated with? HIPPIE)
- Butlins or Pontins holiday (What colour coats do helpers wear in each camp? RED - BUTLINS & BLUE - PONTINS)
- Overseas city break (PARIS AS AN EXAMPLE) (Which city would members most like to visit?)
- (Name some UK airlines? EASY JET, RYAN AIR, THOMAS COOK, THOMPSON, FLYBE, BRITISH AIRWAYS)
- London weekend to see a West End Show. (Complete the following Musicals titles:
Les MISERABLES
Miss SAIGON
Phantom of the OPERA
Sunset BOULEVARD
West Side STORY
Blood BROTHERS
The Lion KING
Singing In The RAIN
Fiddler On The ROOF
Guys And DOLLS

Sweeney TODD
- Overseas seaside holiday (What is the famous surfing beach on the island of Oahu in Hawaii called? WAIKIKI)
- UK hotel holiday or 'mini break' (How many stars is the best rating for a hotel? 5 STAR)
- Backpacking holiday (What do backpackers usually wear on their back to carry their possessions? RUCKSACK / Where do they stay? YOUTH HOSTELS)
- Horse riding holiday (How do you 'steer' a horse? WITH REINS & VERBAL COMMANDS)
- Cycling holiday (What is a bicycle built for two called? A TANDEM)
- Golfing holiday (What is commonly referred to as the 19th hole on a golf course? CLUBHOUSE/BAR)
- Dancing holiday (What dancing show travels to Blackpool Tower for one live episode each year? STRICTLY COME DANCING)
- Canal narrowboat holiday (What steers a canal barge? TILLER / What tool is used to open a lock? A WINDLASS)
- Cruise ship holiday (If the ship hits an iceburg God forbid what signal is given out? S.O.S.)
- Coach Trip (What maximum speed are coaches legally allowed to travel at in the UK? 62MPH)
- Train holiday (Which detective featured in the 1939 novel 'Murder On The Orient Express'? HERCULE POIROT)
- Skiing holiday (What is 'Apres Ski'? ALCOHOL SUCH AS SCHNAPPS AND SNACKS SUCH AS CHEESE FONDUE)
- Activity holiday - painting, wine tasting, cooking etc (What colour wines are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot? RED)
- Adventure holiday - rock climbing / climbing over Sydney Harbour Bridge / parachuting / hot air balloon (Which would members prefer? Anyone have a fear of heights?) 
- Safari (Where is the nearest Safari Park? LONGLEAT)
- Whale watching (What is the Killer Whale's proper name? ORCA)
- Gambling / Casino holiday (Has anyone been to Las Vegas, or fancy going?)

- Music festival e.g. Glastonbury (How would members cope with the rain and mud?)
- Day trips or as this type of holiday is now called a 'staycation' (to the zoo, amusement parks or national parks)

Members also commented on which of the above holidays they fancied. Of if they had any other ideas?
 

QUIZ QUESTIONS

We moved on to some more questions which further prompted reminscence and discussion.

1. In which part of the UK is Stonehenge? SALISBURY PLAIN
2. Which group of people still 'worship' at the standing stones? DRUIDS
3. Where are the 'Blue Stones' said to have come from? PRESILI HILLS NORTH WALES (Does anyone have any ideas on how they would have got the stones to Southern England 5,000 years ago?)
4. Where was the hotel in the hit TV sitcom 'Fawlty Towers' located? TORQUAY
5. Where did Manuel come from from in this sitcom? BARCELONA
6. What is the name of the hotel and hairdresser in the sitcom 'Benidorm'? HOTEL SOLANA & BLOW AND GO
7. What was the name of the holiday camp in the TV comedy series 'Hi De Hi'? MAPLINS
8. What colour jackets did staff at MAPLINS wear? YELLOW
9. How about real staff in Butlins and Pontins? RED IN BUTLINS, BLUE IN PONTINS
10. What is an outdoors swimming pool called? A LIDO (Has anyone swam in one?)
11. What was the name of the children's TV series about life on a canal narrow barge? ROSIE AND JIM
12. What were the main characters' names in the TV comedy series 'Last Of The Summer Wine'? COMPO SIMMINITE, NORA BATTY, CLEGG
13. Which actor who starred alongside Cliff Richard in the film 'Summer Holidays' also starred in the UK comedy series 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'? MELVYN HAYES
14. What was the name of the holiday show presented by Judith Chalmers? WISH YOU WERE HERE
15. Who presented the earlier BBC 'Holiday' programme? CLIFF MICHELMORE
16. Which Australian TV soap is based in Summer Bay? HOME AND AWAY
17. What are the opening lyrics of the Grease song 'Summer Nights'? SUMMER LOVING HAD ME A BLAST
18. Who had a hit with the 1961 song 'Summertime Blues'? EDDIE COCHRAN
19. Which US singer is known as 'The Queen Of Disco'? DONNA SUMMER
20. Which song has the lyrics 'Winter spring summer or fall, all you have to do is call'? YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND BY CAROLE KING
21. What happens if it rains on St Swithen's Day (June 15th)? IT RAINS FOR 40 DAYS
22. What is a period of hot and dry autumn weather known as? AN INDIAN SUMMER
23. What are three summer signs of the zodiac? GEMINI CANCER AND LEO
24. What is the filling of a 'Summer Pudding'? RED FRUITS SUCH AS STRAWBERRY RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRIES AND BLACKCURRANT
25. What are 'Ann Summers' shops infamous for selling? SEXY LINGERIE AND OTHER ACCROUTEMENT
26. Name three sporting events which take place in the UK every year... WIMBLEDON - FIRST TWO WEEKS OF JULY, ROYAL ASCOT (LADIES DAY IS 19TH JUNE), LORDS CRICKET - VARIABLE DATES
27. Where is the '2018 World Cup' to be hosted this summer? RUSSIA
28. What according to myth or fable does lighting never do? STRIKE TWICE
29. Where is the 'Glastonbury Music Festival' held? WORTHY FARM IN PILTON
30. What is the name of the famous hill with St Michael's Tower on top which overlooks this music festival called? GLASTONBURY TOR
31. When is the longest day or 'Summer Solstice'? JUNE 21ST
32. Where do druids traditionally gather at dawn on Midsummer Day to celebrate the passing of time? STONEHENGE
33. Sunlight provides us with which key vitamin? VITAMIN D
34. Which US state is known as 'The Sunshine State'? FLORIDA
35. Name the main ways for getting to your holiday destination? AEROPLANE, BOAT, TRAIN OR CAR
36. Which TV detective show starred John Nettles as D.I. John Barnaby? MIDSOMER MURDERS
37. What other detective role did he play? BERGERAC (set in Jersey)
38. Who had a hit single with the song 'Holiday' in 1983? MADONNA
 

 
MUSIC QUIZ

As usual, our music choices were songs which most members held in their long term memory. We have found that whilst some individuals with dementia have difficulty communicating their thoughts and needs, the tone pitch and rhythm and even lyrics of songs are often better preserved than everyday speech. This is a great therapeutic strength and adds value to music based activities. We intersperse questions to prompt recall and promote cognitive ability, but more important is the enjoyment derived from singing along with a well known or loved song. It is indeed an uplifting experience to have one's musical memory recognised and supported.

 


The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of which year? 1967
What were ‘Flower Children’ better know as? HIPPIES
What did Hippies protest against in the USA? VIETNAM WAR
Where was their cultural home? HAGHT-ASHBURY, SAN FRANSISCO

Did anyone consider themselves a Hippie in earlier life?
What fashion or symbols were associated with flower power?
WEARING FLOWERS, VW BEETLES AND CAMPERVANS, LONG HAIR, BEARDS, FLOWING CLOTHES, SANDALS, FLARES, CND, RECREATIONAL DRUGS

Of course, music was a big part of the scene.

What was the music festival which took place on Yasgers Farm In 1969 called? WOODSTOCK

The first half of the playlist relates to music associated with Flower Power; the second with Summer Music generally.
 

 

SPOTIFY PLAYLIST LINK HERE

 https://open.spotify.com/user/1154769589/playlist/2PnGHqhdunxkVzC9f61pTS?si=-VxI-WgHSkOsHmN-7boW_A


FLOWER POWER

Woodstock - Mathew Southern Comfort. Who had a hit wit this song originally? JONI MITCHELL

Flowers In The Rain - The Move. What are members' favourite flowers? Go around the room

California Dreaming' - The Mamas & The Papas. Can anyone guess what this song is about? HOMESICKNESS

Mr Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan. Can anyone think of any other percussion instruments in addition to the Tambourine? CYMBALS, TRIANGLE, TIMPANI, SNARE DRUM, BASS DRUM

San Francisco - Scott McKenzie. What is the name of the infamous prison in San Francisco Bay? ALCATRAZ

Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys. The Beach Boys are associated with the surfing community. Has anyone ever surfed or dived in the sea, or used snorkel and goggles and flippers?

Daydream Believer - The Monkees. What were their names? DAVY JONES, MICKY DOLENZ, MICHAEL NESMITH & PETER TORK 

Aquarius, Let The Sunshine In - The 5th Dimension. What are members' star signs? Does anyone read their Horoscope? (Maybe read a couple out, if you have access to a newspaper that includes them?)

Up, Up and Away - The 5th Dimension. Can anyone think of other forms of air travel in addition to a Hot Air Balloon? HANG GLIDER, PARACHUTE, LIGHT AIRCRAFT, HELICOPTER, JUMBO JET, CONCORDE

Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. What was Frankie Valli's backing group known as? THE FOUR SEASONS

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles. Why is this song thought to be about taking psychedelic drugs? IT IS THOUGHT LUCY. SKY. DIAMONDS. SPELLED OUT L.S.D.

Itchycoo Park - Small Faces. Is Itchycoo Park a real place? NOT REALLY. ITCHYCOO REFERS TO STINGING NETTLES IN THE PARK WHERE STEVE MARRIOTT GREW UP AND LATER VISITED FOR DRUG TAKING


SUMMER TIME

The Sun Has Got His Hat On - Me And My Girl
Name different types of sun hat?
STRAW BOATER, BASEBALL CAP, PANAMA, FEDORA, CLOCHE, TRILBY, COWBOY HAT, KNOTTED HANDKERCHIEF

Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & The Shadows
Where did the bus trip end in the 1963 film 'Summer Holiday'? 
GREECE

Lovely Day - Bill Withers
How many hours daylight is there on the longest day? (Nearest guess) 16 HOURS 38 MINUTES

Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks
What year was this a worldwide hit? 
1974

Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks
Which sunset did The Kinks also sing about? 
WATERLOO

Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks. Can anyone name any other London mainline stations? EUSTON, ST PANCRAS, KINGS CROSS, PADDINGTON

Perfect Day - Lou Reed
Go around the room and ask members what their perfect day would be.

In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
What aspect of this song lyric is a criminal offence? 
HAVE A DRINK HAVE A DRIVE (ASSUMING THE DRINK IS ALCOHOLIC)

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder
How old is Stevie Wonder? 
68 HE WAS BORN 13TH MAY 1950

Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles
Which Beatle wrote and sang this song?
GEORGE HARRISON

Summer Nights - Grease
What were the two main character's names? 
DANNY ZUKO (JOHN TRAVOLTA) AND SANDY OLSSON (OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN)

Bring Me Sunshine - Morecombe And Wise
What were their Christian names?
ERIC AND ERNIE
Can anyone do the closing dance?

You Are My Sunshine - Johhny Cash
What is the slogan for the Sun Smart Safety Campaign?
SLIP SLAP SLOP



EXTRAS

 

Maybe if extra time, or in any case, ask members to choose songs to play from these lists. 

Mix the questions up as you see fit.



Summer Breeze - The Isley Brothers
What is the name of the summer breeze which emanates from the Sahara desert and often brings sand dust to the UK? 
SIRROCCO

Ain't No Sunshine When You're Gone - Bill Withers
What film starring Hugh Grant did this song feature in? 
NOTTING HILL

Walking On Sunshine - Katrina And The Waves
What year did Katrina win the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Love Shine A Light'? 
1997

Sun Is Shining - Bob Marley & The Wailers
What religion was Bob Marley?
RASTAFARIAN

Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
Listen carefully ... Who says, in the song, 'No dice son, you gotta work late'? 
HIS BOSS

Summertime - Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald
What musical is this song from?
PORGY AND BESS

Sunny - Marvin Gaye
Who shot and killed Marvin Gaye on April 1st 1984?
HIS FATHER

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - Elton John
Who later had a number 1 hit dueting with Elton John on a live version of this track?
GEORGE MICHAEL

 

 
ACTIVITIES

 

Some ideas ...

 

Make tie dye T-shirts. Buy white T-shirt packs from Asda (any large supermarket will do) and spray fast drying fabric dyes (various colours) from Hobby Craft. The more colourful the patters the better.

 

Flower pressing. Buy a bunch of flowers and use an iron (note safety concerns) to press and dry them onto card (there is a video on YouTube of this technique). 


Stand up and gently throw a beach ball back and forth across the room, shouting out members' names as you do so.
As an alternative for those who struggle to remember names, ask people to shout out their own name and a single positive word which describes them.

Have a selection of ice cream flavours for people to sample and vote for the favourite.

 

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