On the 26th of May, Radfield Home Care Havering took a trip to the theatre! Two of our lovely clients were accompanied by one of our amazing Community Care Professionals, Sandra, and our Marketing Coordinator, Charlie. The Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, Essex had put on a very special performance for one week only of a show called Maggie May.
The show followed the journey of a lady called Maggie, after discovering her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The stage was set out with a large tilted ceiling situated up high, filled with Maggie’s ‘life’ reminders, to-do lists, and reminders of the order to complete tasks in. This was a clever way to reflect on a simple method of reducing confusion for people with Dementia. The show was cleverly adapted to reflect the emotions of both Maggie and her family. The story showed how Maggie was worried about telling her family and how she eventually spoke to them, whilst accurately portraying the confusion and endless questions that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s entails.
The story importantly demonstrated how she dealt with emotion, with her character crying one minute and laughing the next. The play reflected on the gradual decline of a person’s mental and physical well-being due to a neurological disease, the character would confuse her words and then would struggle to remember names and faces, much to her dismay.
Powerfully, this was preceded by an important insight into the emotions of those closest to the loved one suffering. Grief, heartbreak, anger, happiness, and fear; all phenomenally reflected throughout the ground-breaking performance. Happiness was subtly drip-fed to the audience throughout, the smallest of things – pub quiz night, reading and singing, all simple activities to the eye, but all with a big impact on Maggie’s life.
With reference to things bringing joy, the play refers to a ‘Pensieve’. The character enjoyed reading the Harry Potter books and discovered that a ‘Pensieve’ is a magical way of storing memories. Amazingly, the characters used a physical box as an analogy for ‘Maggie’s memory box’ and encouraged her to verbally describe all of the memories that she didn’t want to forget and figuratively place them into the box. For reassurance and peace of mind, despite her diagnosis, this scene portrayed that happy memories can last a lifetime if you want them to.
Throughout, the actress would break out of character and talk directly to the audience, explaining how people living with Alzheimer’s can struggle to process the information around them. This breaking of the fourth wall was a very poignant and powerful way of showing the day-to-day experience of someone living with Alzheimer’s while keeping the audience well informed on the condition.
Sandra Leachman, one of our fantastic Community Care Professionals, said that the performance was “truly outstanding and very enjoyable.”
Our clients who came to the show with us really appreciated this impactful play. The show presented a compassionate insight into the life of someone living with Alzheimer’s and was an emotional journey for everyone in the audience, providing smiles, laughter and sombre moments. We adore opportunities like this to socialise with clients, especially when we can get out and about. It was amazing to see our clients’ relationship with us and each other build as we connected over the play. It is great that we have been able to organise various community events such as this following the halt over the last two years, it is more important than ever that we get our clients out and about; keeping them connected and helping them retain their sense of identity. At Radfield, we share a purpose; to help the nation age well by remaining connected to the things that matter most. We do this by being there for our clients, providing exceptional care, and socialising opportunities like this so that they can be connected, be inspired, and most importantly, be themselves.
If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care and the home care and companionship support services offered, please visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk/services email us at [email protected] or call us on 01708 609 364. To discover a rewarding career in care with our team, visit careers.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact our office directly.
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