On Monday 13th July 2015, BUDI welcomed more than 50 members of the public at their annual Festival of Learning event. The event was opened by the BUDI Orchestra (formed of people affected by dementia and musicians) with an energetic and fun performance that included a rendition of the Peter Gunn theme by the Blues Brothers (complete with trademark sunglasses) and the Jaws theme tune.
Attendees were able to participate in a number of hands on activities, from sharing their thoughts on what makes a garden dementia-friendly, to discussing what they are passionate about in the dementia field with members of the BUDI team in speaker’s corner.
Poet Jonny Fluffypunk closed the event by reading out a poem that he created from sentences that attendees had written throughout the event about dementia. The poem entitled ‘A New Beginning’ is too good not to share……
A New Beginning
a misunderstood and badly defined term
a term people are labelled with;
a term that restricts their freedom.
Restricts their choices.
Restricts their self.
Dementia is an illness often observed,
an illness that splits families
It is thinking scattered thoughts of yesterday
that muddle your tomorrow
It is trying to remember the past
and not the present
Dementia is my nuisance;
It is me needing the support
of my wife and family
It is knowing your face so well
but your name escaping me
Dementia is living in a world that makes no sense;
it is remembering tastes from the past;
it is the problem of making decisions
it is feeling your way in the world
and not being able to put it in words
Sometimes I think
we were all born with dementia;
as a tiny child I could remember nothing
and now I am old I find nothing has changed
And dementia is an interesting way
to relive my life; an unknown journey
a unique experience for patient and carer
Dementia is protecting and helping your husband
as he makes this journey
It is brilliant but fleeting perfect memories
It is a chance to grow
It is a chance to engage creatively
It is a chance to reach a new humanity
Dementia is learning not to give up:
I was thrown out of church choir age 7
and now at 77 I play violin with BUDI
Dementia is learning that music is a wonderful thing
That it makes you happy and sad-
long live music and song!
Dementia is emotional-
how I wish I could love in the way
I have seen love shared here today
Dementia is partnership,
it is learning to change life
with the one you love
Dementia can bring you together
with the most wonderful people
Dementia is just a different journey
Dementia is personal and shared
Dementia is not the end; it can be a new beginning
Dementia is not the end.