In my work as narrative therapist, I’m often surprised at the missing component of authentic friendship as part of one’s community of influence. Whom we spend time with is crucial to our health, happiness and transitions in life.
For me as a ViM chorister, violinist, volunteer and board member, the choir is like a second family and one that I know will provide the support and solace I may need in the not-too-distant future as the impact of Alzheimer’s on my brother Duncan and his family deepens.
In this document you can appoint one or more people you trust to make these decisions on your behalf. Covering both health care and personal care, it is like a “power of attorney for your body”. During a time of mental incapacity, this type of advance care planning is extremely valuable.
When we were introduced to Voices in Motion, we immediately saw the importance of it continuing past the research stage to become a widespread activity across Victoria and as far and wide as possible.
We attended concerts in 2018, and then last summer were introduced to Erica, the choral conductor and I was ready to join the choir, but Barry was adamant that he could not sing. In a short time of meeting with Erica, who told him “Everyone can Sing”, we joined the Gordon Head Voices in Motion Choir.
It took time to realize that if I did not take care of myself, I would be unable to properly care for my husband. He depends on me. We need each other. We are a team. My dragon boat team was my escape, if only for a few hours a week.
So singing engages your entire brain. Not only that, but if you just THINK about singing the music, your brain is active and engaged in learning the music, even before you make a sound.
As a bereavement educator and counselor, I have discovered that when you remove meaning and purpose, you remove someone’s heart and passion for living fully. So much of loss is about our individual identity. It’s often linked to an internal search for purpose and meaning.
Students + Seniors = Singing. A story of a multi-generational choir. Once the singing starts, age disappears & melody fills the room.
The next 6 months represents a particularly exciting period for VIM research. As many as 10 research projects will be ongoing simultaneously, with plans to share these findings locally with the VIM community, as well as nationally and internationally at scientific research conferences.
This term’s musical theme: People Who Need People. Nothing can replace one-on-one, authentic, caring community where we can belong. We need each other!
Following a dementia diagnosis, you might experience a change in your existing relationships with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
This is difficult to understand especially since you need more support and a listening ear more than ever.
Canadians living with dementia are going public for a third consecutive year in an effort to change hearts and minds. They are courageously stepping forward with their personal stories in the Alzheimer Society’s nation-wide campaign, I live with dementia. Let me help you understand as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in January.
I was excited when I heard about the Voices in Motion Choir as it brought together my love of music and my volunteer work. I was seeing how music could carry people back in time and bring back memories, or just bring happiness with beautiful melodies—it was a very satisfying pleasure indeed.
Little did I know how passionate I would become about choral music and its benefits in my life. I just couldn’t get enough – the harmonies that were created when different voice types sang together – it was magical.
One definition that people have found helpful is this: Grief is your reaction to what you miss that you no longer have that used to be. Those with dementia can face compounded losses as the disease progresses. Family members also experience challenges as they watch their loved one transition in their dementia journey.
Diversion, my favourite tactic. It’s like pointing out a cat or a squirrel to my dog. All things before the chase ensues has been forgotten. Since my Mom’s dementia has progressed to the point of having a non-existent short-term memory, the hope of maintaining any type of conversation has dried up.
Susan-Rose and Bram are a duet in our Voices in Motion choir. We went out for lunch and heard about the early days of their time in Montreal, how they met and all the juicy moments in between. We learned about their careers, hobbies, and family members. We laughed a lot together.