Episode 11 of The Good Life: Sep 2016: Seniors’ Ballet, Innovative Dementia Care & Instagram Travel

This month’s episode features stories that are very close to my own heart: dancing, travel and blogging. I think it is one of our best yet. I hope you agree!

The Queensland Ballet has come up with a unique class called Ballet for Seniors. I never had an opportunity to take ballet classes as a young girl, however in this month’s programme you will see that many of the ladies still know how to point those toes and extend those arms. I am sure I could take inspiration from them and do my best to look lady-like. And I would love the Zumba Class that follows. One more reason to move to Queensland! In addition to our feature story, there is more on this ABC news clip.

Anything that can help seniors combat arthritis, dementia and depression has to be a good thing, right? I look forward to my line dancing class every Monday, and in my chat with Pete Gatwood I mention its mental health benefits. It’s not just the concentration and exercise, music is an important stimulus for positive emotion. My mother was many years in care, and in her latter years, when she stopped speaking, I discovered I could connect with her by singing. She always knew the second verses!

Dementia is a stressful and isolating illness, for both the sufferer and their family. The Flame Tree Project at IRT Woonoona has come up with several innovative ideas to bring their residents into a more familiar and re-assuring environment, at the same time as encouraging more family visits. Again, using my mother as an example, when I discovered she was confused about which was her wardrobe, I plastered it with photos of herself as a young girl. That concept of a different time and place has been extended by The Flame Tree project. Their feature story starts around 6 minutes, and I recommend you take a look!

And then we meet Shelley Dark, a woman with an infectious personality and passion for life. As the founder of Shelley Dark Travel, she travels the globe, taking her tribe of Instagram followers along for the ride. Her story starts around 10 minutes. I know several of my fellow bloggers will be inspired by her story and photos.

Finally, Pete and Ben are back in the kitchen. Ben has come up with a simple twist on an Indian curry, using skinless chicken thigh fillets. It looks delicious!

14 thoughts on “Episode 11 of The Good Life: Sep 2016: Seniors’ Ballet, Innovative Dementia Care & Instagram Travel

  1. Great segment on the seniors and the ballet. I wanted so much to take ballet as a child. I got books from the library and used to practice the positions in my room behind closed doors. About dementia, I haven’t had any personal experience, thank goodness. I recently read What Alice Forgot and it was a fascinating story about a woman experiencing dementia as if she was telling it herself. Very insightful just such a tragic disease

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      • Oops. I got that totally mixed up. Yes I did read what Alice Forgot and it was a good book. However it was Still Alice that I read about dementia. No I did not see the movie. Did you? Thanks for clarifying this for me!! 😄 Too many girls named Alice for my mind to keep track of haha.

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        • Haha too funny. Because when I was looking through the Goodreads list, I was thinking, “what is it with calling characters Alice”? I was also a little befuddled that Liane Moriarty was writing about dementia, the synopsis sounded more like amnesia. Anyway, one day I will read both books. I’ve only seen the Still Alice movie so far. It was very well done, so far as screen adaptations of books goes.

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  2. I thought the innovations at the Dementia Care Home were very interesting and when you have a think about it – they all seem quite natural. Why wouldn’t people want their own individual door to recognise and reassure them they were in the right place.

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    • Exactly. My aunt lived till 95 but her last years were dogged by dementia. She lived in an orphanage from age 8 till 13. At her aged care home, the long corridors with identical doors running off either side were anathema to her. Even in her muddled state, she knew how to exit the building, walk around from the outside and get to her room from a closer side door, rather than use the hallway. Her care home also had a bus stop in the indoor courtyard, and for those who were anxious to go to their previous home, it would settle them to be able to sit and wait for the bus (that would never come). It sounds cruel to us, but we just have to understand for dementia sufferers their reasoning is in a different place, and their concept of time, cause and consequence is displaced. I thought you’d be interested in that segment.

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  3. When I was a lad in England I loved dancing; I remember dancing with my mother at the socials at the school hall during the war, (yes we still kept up our dancing) the waltz and the palais glide, and thought that I’d like to be a ballet dancer but I was told that that was for different boys and that it wasn’t for me but I could do ballroom dancing; which I did.
    I now know what they meant, and I also know thats not 100% accurate.
    When I first arrived in Sydney I did what a lot do I took to driving a cab, and Sir Robert Helpmann became a regular customer from the Wentworth Hotel; Nice bloke, always sat up front and enjoyed a chat on the short trip over to Elizabeth Bay, good tipper and never tried to put the word on me.
    Had some funny experiences and people driving cabs in Sydney, good times!

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  4. Gwen I loved the segment on Seniors Ballet .. coincidentally my granddaughter who already teaches a ballet class visited me yesterday and said she would love to run a ballet class for seniors during the Christmas holidays ..

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    • It worked for a time until she mistook the photos for her mother and became upset. Her state of mind was always a moving target. Over the years I visited though, I managed to communicate with other residents by working out which decade they were currently living in. That might be the root cause of my interest in history ! 🙂

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