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Solange 8th Apr 2012

Posted on the Forum

Hi Catherine, very clever of you to run short sessions. I agree with you, in my experience small groups (3 or 4 people) work much better. I also find that a variety of short sessions repeated throughout the day is often more successful than trying to have a long session. However sometimes it is impossible to do as you like.

I work with a group of 10 people suffering from early and not so early stages of Alzheimer's. My mission is to entertain them for 2 and half hours while their carers have a support group meeting. We sit around a large table from 10:30 am till 1:00 pm; getting up only to go to toilet.

For this session I plan 8 to 10 different activities ranging from crayon coloring, puzzle solving (large wooden puzzles), a junior crossword on the white board, a couple of games of Hoy or table Quoits, a riddle or two, 'Find 10 Differences' game, a themed quiz, a game of balloon (all sitting and throwing the balloon to each other), 'Word Search' (horizontal and vertical only) and a little singing at the end of session.

In between those activities I try to encourage them to talk about themselves or something that caught their attention on TV or newspaper. I find that unless I change activities often, they lose focus and tell me 'they got go home'.

I have mostly good sessions and the occasional chaotic session. Luckily I can call for help when I need it. I feel immense pleasure after a good session.

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