Dementia: The Declining Dancer

Words by my dad……

Perhaps I shouldn’t put pen to paper once more, but I thought you would like to know the latest news. Radio Scotland duly came to the care home last Tuesday and “interviewed” the care home manager, Fiona (the nice lady who takes the weekly dance class) and moi.

It went quite well I suppose, me feeling quite nervous and a little apprehensive about the oncoming questions. They were recording a piece for their health and well-being programme and were interested in the impact of the dance classes that go on each Tuesday in the home. They found out about Sarah’s blog and then the fact that Jane was a dancer and so, thought they’d have a chat with me.

They wanted to know how we met, how dancing and the love of music brought us together and what Jane “got out” of her life of this talent of hers that brought such pleasure to others. In the weekly sessions does she or the unfortunate souls whom life has been destroyed by dementia gain benefit from particularly music ? they wondered.

I said that most certainly it did and my lovely wife – although not recently (please see later) – did really enjoy this hour and occasionally we “danced the night away” as the saying goes.

Over the last few weeks it has been difficult for her to engage properly in these activities. Verbal communication has become difficult and latterly mobilisation has been a problem. Over the last few visits she has remained in her room or even in bed because of tiredness and her aches and pains. Two days ago and today she was fast asleep but quite comfortable and I left with Maggie with a heavy heart after only a short time.

Music and dance were her life and I’m so glad I had the courage to ask her out all those years ago and spend our life together. Things have moved on and I have accepted that the Joe Loss Band or “Love letters in the sand” (her favourite foxtrot) will not be heard by her any more.

I hope she will improve but perhaps she is on that first out of the seven steps to that heavenly place in the sky. I hope not but – – – – – – – – .

Love you my dearest.

Ma and Pa 5

4 thoughts on “Dementia: The Declining Dancer

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  1. As someone who first met Jane at The Afton in Niddry Street and who taught me to dance my thoughts and prayers are with her , Stephen & family. A Viennese Waltz class with Jane on a 1 to 1 basis will always live in my memory…floating on air!

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  2. Thank you Michael. It was a great school of dancing with the renowned formation team, Imperial medal tests, social nights, private lessons and group lessons from beginners to established dancers under supervision by Marjory and Reggie Harkins and latterly by Jane. I too had a lesson from her (7/6 for a half an hour) and then asked her out ! Lovely memories.

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