Love to Move is breaking language barriers with Irina and Luba

When Luba’s Ukrainian care home was bombed in March, life changed dramatically for her.

Luba’s daughter Irina has been living in the UK for 20 years, while Luba has been living in a care home in the Kyiv region of Ukraine for the last 5 years. When it was bombed, the director of Luba’s care home helped to get her to the Polish border where Irina was able to rescue her and bring her back to the UK.

Luba has dementia and doesn’t speak English and so Irina had to give up her job to be her mother’s full-time carer. Together they started attending two local dementia friendly groups in early June. At one group in Great Stukeley, Love to Move deliverer Jane Thomas was delivering a Love to Move taster session.

Jane told us “Initially whilst we had music on and were playing board games, Luba burst into a Ukrainian song and we all swayed and moved to the music with her which she seemed to thoroughly enjoy. Luba engaged with the Love to Move programme from the very first time she joined in and so has also been coming along each week to the Brampton Love to Move group.”

Jane and Irina have been working together to engage Luba even more in the sessions by playing Ukrainian songs and looking to include the Russian alphabet. Irina told us that she doesn’t have to translate many instructions to Luba during the session, as she is very happy joining in and copying Jane.

Jane continued “Despite the music not always being familiar, Luba always looks so happy and copies my actions all the way through the session, sometimes laughing out loud. Luba always repeats a few words to us in Russian after the session, Irina has translated to us that she is saying thank you and telling us we are all lovely people.”

Could you help us to deliver Love to Move in Ukrainian?

We are looking for anyone who speaks Ukrainian and would like to train as a deliverer so we can offer an adapted Love to Move programme via zoom for anyone in need.

If you think this is you please email our team at [email protected]

You can find out more about our Love to Move sessions and how they are helping people like Luba living with dementia by clicking here to visit our Love to Move page here