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Sue 11th Apr 2019 Lifestyle Lead
Majority of the home is nursing and dementia. For most of the day residents are asleep. Any suggestions for activities and anything that will keep them awake? I am finding this increasingly difficult.
Susan 11th Apr 2019 Activity Director
Hi Sue
I assume these people are not sick and not overmedicated
As the dementia progresses and if people are on strong pain relievers this can make them sleepy
Do they sleep well at night ?? or are their days and nights mixed up
There is some controversy among nursing home professionals
Some say you should let people sleep and some say you should try to arouse them
I do not know what the things are at your facility
Anyway if you want to arouse them the best thing to do I think is to do a physical activity that involves everyone such as table ball or just suggestions made in this article
Here are comments I made to Carolyn and others that might be helpful to you
Good luck and let me know if I can be of any further help to you
Elisa 12th Apr 2019 Senior Activity Coordinator
Sorry would you be able to be more detailed?
In general if your residents need to sleep during the day, they should be able to and it doesn't necessarily mean that the level of care is bad.
In the UK one sees the words "meaningful activity" often, a meaningful activity can last minutes but the benefits might last hours.
And in general environmental interventions ( an area with appropriately curated music, rummaging boxes, colouring things left on tables...) have greater impact on the residents wellbeing that us telling them what to do specially when ther needs are high.
Solange 18th Apr 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Elisa, you are absolutely right. Sometimes all you have to do is to facilitate several activities on a large table and let clients explore. With soft music on the background and supervision, clients can be easily satisfied for an hour or two.

Although it doesn’t work every time it is certainly worth trying.
Susan 19th Apr 2019 Activity Director
I agree with Solange it is worth a try
Sue 19th Apr 2019 Lifestyle Lead
Thank you for your comments and I totally get what Elisa is saying and couldn't agree more.
Cathy 23rd Apr 2019
Music! music! music!! live or CD or DVD. Add musical instruments like maracas, tamborines, bells and beat along to the tune, assist some to dance with you or each other. Also I find the promise of a yummy afternoon tea with punch ( no alcohol) gets them up and about. Get to them before they go to lay down for the afternoon , direct them to the activity room straight from lunch, have music on to welcome them.
Another thing to consider is the room where they fall asleep, is it too warm and stuffy?
Having said all that , some days it feels like you wasting your time but you never really know what impact you are having in someone's life. :)
Susan 24th Apr 2019 Activity Director
Thank you Cathy music is a good idea because it uses many parts of the brain so if one part doesn't work another part does
Some residents with dementia cannot speak but they can sing words to a song
Susan 25th Apr 2019 Director of Activities
We do a "Morning Wake-up" program, we start by telling what day it is, the weather, etc. Then to music they stretch using the following; "stretch high up in the tree for an apple." Climb the ladder, make it rain, move your arms with the wind...etc. They love it! You can make up your own fun ones to keep them going. Then we go around the circle and do a balloon toss. We read a very short story, end with some deep breathing and lastly hands alive (lotion hands.)
It really works, but the person leading has to be full of life! :)
Susan 25th Apr 2019 Activity Director
Thank you Susan
These are wonderful thoughts
I agree that the person running the activity has to be engaging enthusiastic and including each person in the group

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