The Night We Left Dementia At Home

Saturday night – and there’s a dementia fund-raising event at the Swinton Grand Palais …

Lena and Pat

Lena and Pat

About our behaviour at the Sixties Revisited evening on Saturday …

First, to the lady in purple, sorry about your foot. I’m not usually that clumsy on the dance-floor. To be honest, I’m not usually on the dance-floor at all. That was the problem. Lena was so happy to see me out there with her that she gave me an extra little twirl – yes, you probably noticed, a few times … and – well, I kind of spun out of control …

To our new friends, Pat and Jackie. Thanks for making us so welcome at your table. Bet you were surprised though, weren’t you? The last time you saw Lena, at the Dementia Champions meeting, she sat there politely, hardly saying a word. This time she was like a whirlwind, irresistible, unstoppable. You probably didn’t realise that when you asked her to join you in a dance. Hope you’ve recovered.

Lesley - with grandson

Event organiser Lesley – with grandson

To the people on the front table. Thanks for your patience. Ten times, it must have been, Lena went across to ask you to get up and join us on the floor. I could see it wasn’t quite your thing – you were happy sitting there being entertained by her antics and energy. But Lena was having such a good time, she just wanted everyone to join her in her beautiful world.

To Lesley. What an inspired venue you chose for a dementia fund-raiser! The Grand Palais in Swinton, chock-full of memories even for us, when we’d never been there before. A proper dance-hall, high-ceilinged, spacious, lovingly restored to a state of pre-discotheque kitsch splendour. The kind of place where it was still cool for you and four of your best girlfriends to show off the latest dance moves from fifty years ago – with your handbag on the floor in the centre, of course – while the guys stood back in the shadows admiring.

Lena dancing

Lena dancing – too fast for the camera!

 

I keep banging on about the best antidote I know for Alzheimers – fitness, friendship and fun. Saturday’s Sixties night gave us all three – in bucketloads. Does the combination work? Picture Lena, grinning from ear to ear all evening, putting a smile on everyone else’s face too. Then you tell me.

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