June 2023 | Connect

30 June 2023 Connect – Toru
Kia ora and welcome to the third panui of 2023!

Being the middle of winter (with the winter solstice finally behind us), it’s a time when we tend to pursue indoor activities and so it seems fitting to devote this pānui to the arts. There is much research validating the arts as therapeutic interventions for people with dementia.

The arts may be used to entertain or to distract, as well as to comfort, stimulate, soothe or affirm the identity of a person with dementia.

Dementia can have a devastating effect on people’s cognitive abilities; however, the creative, imaginative and emotional parts of a person often remain relatively strong. There have been some wonderful developments in creative work with people with dementia that celebrate a person’s potential rather than focusing on problems and deficits.

In this newsletter we highlight music, literature, drama, and art – all happening right here in our region

Ngā mihi mahana

Anne Schumacher, Chief Executive

Carers’ Big Day Out

This year, to mark World Alzheimers Day, Thursday, September 21st, we are thrilled to announce that we are offering a special day out for carers/supporters/whānau of people with dementia.

In previous years we have marked the day with our Dementia Wellington Symposium highlighting best practice and research. This year we wanted to create an opportunity to focus on wellbeing and have a time to come together for relaxation, lovely food, meeting new people and just having an enjoyable day out!

We know that for many people their caring responsibilities are a barrier for enjoying outings so the Dementia Wellington team will be on hand to provide a parallel programme of activities for a maximum of fifteen people with dementia.
The day will be starting at 10:00am with morning tea and we will be finished by 4:00pm.
There is ample parking at the golf club. The programe will include a mixture of activities and plenty of time to chat and admire the view.
There are places for 50 carers and for 15 people living with dementia and there is no charge for the day. If we are over‐subscribed, we will run a waiting list.
To register interest, please email rohan@dementiawellington.org.nz, or leave a message on 04 972 2595.
Please include:
your name
the name of your person with dementia if they are coming
your location i.e. Wellington, Lower/Upper Hutt, Kāpiti, Porirua
any special dietary requirements
a contact phone number
When: Thursday, 21 September
Where: Paraparaumu Golf Club, 376 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu Beach, 5032
Cost: no charge
Thank you to the Paraparaumu Golf Club for their generous support. Additionally, we would like
to add that Paraparaumu Golf Club is running assisted golf. If you’re interested read more

Staff Update – introduction to Rohan

Kia ora koutou, my name is Rohan and I am an administrator for the Dementia Wellington team. I am a recent graduate of Massey University, completing my Fine Arts Honours degree at the end of 2022. Whilst studying I was an intern for MeDArT, an art therapy program for people with dementia and their carers. Through this program I became involved with Dementia Wellington and their commitment to helping ease the struggles of those with dementia, or those caring for loved ones with dementia. After becoming captivated by the work done at Dementia Wellington I became a volunteer, which then developed into my permanent role here at the Hub. In my spare time I continue to make art and have recently finished an artist residency at Te Whare Hēra. My artistic passions are illustration, medieval art history, and art as therapy. The team at Dementia Wellington have been so welcoming and I am motivated to serve the community and help continue the fantastic work of my peers.

New dementia book out in July – invitation to celebration launch
in Petone.

Kristen Phillips, our office manager, has written a book called Dad, You’ve Got Dementia: Conversations with my father. The book is a short memoir of her experience with her father, Don, who lived with dementia from 2011‐2019. Dad, You’ve Got Dementia is being published in July. You can pre‐order the book at your local book shop ($27 per copy) or from The Cuba Press direct. Don’s words and actions are at the core of Dad, You’ve Got Dementia and the book shows that it is possible to stay connected with a loved one despite their dementia.
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, 8 July, Petone Baptist Church, 10:30‐11:30.am
There will be a celebration of the publication of Dad, You’ve Got Dementia, including some readings, morning tea and copies for sale from Schrödinger’s Books in Petone. ALL WELCOME.

Voice Arts

Voice Arts is a creative space that supports the cognitive, social and emotional wellbeing of older people using the unique tool of applied improvisation. Working with over 200 people each week, Voice Arts provides free classes that exercise the mind, the imagination and if laughter is the best medicine, this is the prescription. Following a successful pilot in partnership with Dementia Wellington, we have developed a programme of classes for those in our community living with a diagnosis of dementia. Exercises adapted from improvisational theater are used to gently stretch the brain and keep the mind active and creative. This group is full of play, laughter, and connection. Partners and caregivers are welcome to join.
If you wish to learn more click here Voice Arts

Pito‐one Harmony Singers Group

Dementia Wellington staff at Project Village Community Day

Project Village Charitable Trust was founded by Lagi Finau one of many pacific island primary caregivers who was caring for her mum during the 2020 lockdown. Based on her experience with her mum, Lagi set up Project Village to inspire and help other caregivers looking after their loved ones at home. See the Project Village website for some wonderful videos and ideas for home‐based activities.

Dementia Wellington was invited by Pacific Village to attend their first community day on May 6 at the Mungavin Community Hall in Porirua. Debbie Mustard and Jackie Cole, two of DW’s dementia advisors, ran a stall at the event, building on the partnership that is growing between Project Village and Dementia Wellington.

Debbie says “Dementia Wellington and Project Village have been building our relationship and working together since 2021, across the community, particularly with the Pacifica Communities.
We see the value of empowering Pacifica families to engage at a recreational level, as part of a personalised Living Well Plan, promoting interaction and engagement.

It was a great opportunity to work with Project Village, and their Diversional Recreation Therapists. Their Wellbeing Activity Bags are stimulating and innovative and help the person and their family keep engaged and connected and enhance their quality of life, in a fun and meaningful way.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Support for Cog café’s (monthly) at Johnsonville – Library Cafe; Upper Hutt – Cossie Club; Lower Hutt – Mitre 10 Petone; Wellington – Picnic Café in the Botanical Gardens; Kāpiti – Anzil cafe
  • Mowing lawns/tidying garden/painting a door – Hutt only.
  • Supporting a Dementia Advisor at an education session (welcoming people etc) – one‐off sessions in various locations across the Wellington region.
  • Volunteering to manage volunteers

The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes continues this Sunday

Back row: Suz, Chris, Ben, Mike, Bevin.
Front: Dawn, Mark, Marilyn, Cliff, Graeme

In the New Zealand four‐part series, The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, eight people living with dementia take on roles at a restaurant run by top chef and restaurateur Ben Bayly. From front of house to preparing meals, the volunteers work in all facets of the business demonstrating that people with dementia still have much to offer the world.

The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes airs on TVNZ 1 and TVNZ+ each Sunday at 8:30pm. The last airing episode will be on July 8th. If you missed an episode or want to start watching now, click the link here www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/the‐restaurant‐that‐makes‐mistakes