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Julie 17th Jan 2013

Posted on the Forum

Hello to all fellow activity persons. I really need your help regarding new ideas for a group of 11 residents where i work. These residents have varying disabilities such as Severe Dementia to sensory impairments and mobility impairments. 4 of these residents will attend activities elsewhere in the centre such as Baking, Snoozelen, Art, alongside activity programmes that are held in their unit but 7 decline as they do not like to leave their own unit We have the following activity programmes in place on their specific unit: Massage therapy, Quizzes, Reminiscence, Sing a longs, Afternoon Tea and Chat, Sorting Socks ( only 2 residents take part), Exercise, DVD's, CD's, Doll Therapy, Birthday Celebrations and Sonas aPc Programme ( a multisensory programme to aid the potential for communication). Whereas we have a lot available these programmes are begining to get stale as its getting harder to motivate these residents as they are getting a lot more dependant in regards to their needs and abilities. I am a qualified nurse and have 2 excellant care attendants with me. 1 is full time, the other is assigned to another area but always assists us in every activity and we would be lost without her.We get little or no assistance from any other member of staff. We really could do with some fresh ideas that could be implemented for these residents and suited to their needs and abilities. Thank you in advance.
Kerry 19th Jan 2013
Our residents really enjoy having animals visit. Kittens, dogs and for Easter we are lucky enough to have some bunnies visiting. They enjoy nursing them and reminiscing about their pets. Have you thought of doing some community support activities. We support our Australian troops by knitting beanies and collecting lollies ect.(information on defence website). This activity has aspects to fit to residents abilities eg weighing boxes for mail out, winding wool, packing ect. We also support animal shelters by having competitions ( patty cake decorating )with the winner having can of dog, cat food donated on their behalf. This could tie in with pet therapy. We also have Bunnings visit us (community program) where we do woodwork or garden activities. Also check if you qualify for an exercise program. We have a physio come in to run a1/2 hour exercise program. A new face is very motivating. Hope this helps.
Marina 18th Jan 2013
Hi Julie, you certainly seem to have an extensive programme. I am a diversional therapist in a secure dementia wing. There are two things you didnt mention was, when you said singalong do you use shakers and musical equipment. I play the ukelele , I learnt on the internet, we do daily singalongs for a half an hour and I do extra if the ressies are getting restless. the shakers are amazing, i have residents who never talk, but love those shakers, I also have ones with bells on. The ukelele is such a happy instrument and cheers them up so fast. You can get some great ukelele music on cds... I also use country western (1960's era) and Cook Island music is great for cheering people up and making them move around. The secret about singalongs and musical instruments is to do it daily, it takes a while but when the ressies get use to it they really do well. The singing is so good for them.

I also do hand massage, nail manicure and nail polish and all my ressies love the one on one. With the doll therapy, we have lots of baby dolls and toys around facility, and the ressies use them expecially cuddling the dolls when they are sad or anxious and missing family. We use these mostly in the afternoon when there are so many sundowning. Hope this helps. All the best Marina

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