Africa’s ‘Spark of Life’

News ©Dementia Care International

We are delighted that the Spark of Life Club Program is spreading across the globe. One of our valued South African friends, Joan Augustyn, updates us below on the ‘spark’ in their Sunshine room.

My facility, Flemington House in South Africa, runs Spark of Life activities in our Sunshine Room.

One of our residents, Margaret ,has advanced Alzheimer’s and has lost most of her language skills. She repeats over and over, ‘Uh huh, oh yes, uh huh, oh yes,’ until everyone wants to scream! On this particular day, Margaret and I were dancing and she was singing all the words along with “Max Bygraves’ Sing-Along Favourites”. Eventually she put her arms around me and rested her head against my shoulder and she started laughing heartily. She was shaking with laughter and I said to her, ‘Are you enjoying yourself?’ She replied with great enthusiasm, ‘Yes, oh Yes!’

That was an absolutely magical moment, which I will never forget. Those who have never spent time in that way with people suffering from dementia just cannot appreciate how very precious these moments are. When ending the programme, I always ask whether they would like to come again next time and I have a chorus of ‘Yes’ with broad smiles on every face. Those who are able to express their appreciation always say ‘Thank you for a lovely time. Please come again.’

I have volunteer helpers amongst us whom is an old school friend and some staff from Fleming House. (Fleming House is our Frail Care and Dementia Care Centre.) We use your Spark of Life® Resource games as they are of really excellent quality and we are thoroughly enjoying them.