Forum Discussion

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Maria 11th Dec 2018 OTA
Hello everyone!!

I just joined this page and so far it has been amazing at giving me ideas. I also just got my certification as a therapy assistant and I am blessed to be working already!

In the place where I am working, there are probably 5 residents that are very very high care; they don't have coordination in their hands, legs or speech. In that case, what group activities would you recommend?

I really appreciate any advice that I can get!!
Susan 14th Dec 2018 Activity Director
I think sensory stimulation would be a good idea here are some links in golden Carers
I'd like to do one to one with in the group that way you can give individual attention to each person because they probably have difficulty relating to the others you can be the facilitator you can say I can tell by the way you were looking at Another person in the room that you think he is happy etc.
if you want to include these folks in a group with higher functioning residents you can have the higher functioning resident tell you what they think the lower functioning residents are thinking
For example if you are having a sing-along and the residents are choosing which songs to sing then you can ask a higher functioning resident what song is he thinks the lower functioning resident wants us to sing
I have done this and I don't know if it was just a reflex or if they were smiling because of what the other residents said or because of the song we were singing
Lower functioning residents can enjoy the music
Molly 16th Dec 2018 Activity Professional & Writer
Susan, such a wonderful response and I found the links extremely helpful! Music groups are a resident favorite for us and will quickly engage our residents who are lower functioning. I also include them in arts and crafts and cooking groups and provide one on one interventions, so things like holding the brush with them so they could paint or holding the spoon with them so they can mix and stir ingredients.
Kim 18th Dec 2018 Registered Nurse
Hi Maria, congratulations on getting your job, you are entering into a very special world. Be yourself and enjoy what you do and your residents will pick up on your positivity. For the residents you spoke about, you could try reading to them or ask their families for photographs. Find a quiet place and let the memories flow, talk about their childhood, their families, what it was like growing up. Share your own stories, they love to really get to know you. But remember they don't need to share your problems, this will only give them cause to worry, so keep it light, keep it interesting and you will see progress. Good luck and Merry Christmas. If you have any questions my email is ... [email protected]
Dr. Roger 6th Jan 2019 Retired Music Therapist
Yes to all the above suggestions. Hearing your joy at working with this precious but too often forgotten population gives out a message of Love. Recognizing that any of us could be in similar straits can give us both hope and empathetic intimacy that our clients recognize at what ever level of cognition they have. Smile a lot, sing a lot, play a lot, sometimes even cry some; make what life is left and what time is left an experience of shared joy and your AUTHENTICITY will shine through. (Notice I said “empathetic” not “sympathetic.”)

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