Michelle Seitzer, senior blogger for SeniorsForLiving.com, shares her thoughts about activity programming in dementia care units, along with some of my insight added in. Core concepts she includes are:
- All activities are meaningful - This could include self-care tasks, walking in the hall, or talking to a table mate at lunch.
- The simpler, the better - People with dementia become overwhelmed when there are too many details. A simple "afternoon sun" program outside only needs to include comfy chairs to sit in, some shade, and cold lemonade and cookies. Have the residents help set up.
- Know the person's history - Use life story books and/or discuss the person's history with family and friends so you can incoporate this knowledge on a daily basis.
- Plan to use the abilities each person has - Higher functioning residents can be paired to help those with more needs. A person who still remembers songs on the piano can be the started to an impromptu sing-a-long.
Try these tips in your dementia setting. Let us know how it works!