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Marija 10th Aug 2019 Activities Coordinator
Hi everyone. I would really use your assistance. I started working as an activity coordinator in a dementia care home and I find it really hard to get people involved in activities. They are not really used to having activities and all they want is to sit in their chair/sleep. The home is consisted of two parts, so I need to engage arround 30 people, some in later stages of dementia. What I find particulary hard is getting them involved in group activities, it is easier to do one to one visits. They generally enjoy music, listening to music and singalongs but I would like to have a bigger variety of activities. Lookin forward to your suggestions :)
Susan 10th Aug 2019 Activity Director
First of all may I suggest this article
I had a lot of luck using these strategies
Balloon activities
Activities with food and prizes

Let me know if you need more ideas or more help getting people to activities
Susan 10th Aug 2019 Activity Director
This comment may help you also
Kim 11th Aug 2019 Activities Director
I, too, like sensory activities for dementia residents. We have a game called "Follow your Nose," which has 30 different scents--I sometimes just get a small group and let them smell all the different ones, keeping track of favorites. These scents, such as "Pine tree" and "mowed grass" can spark memories and get them talking. Even looking at the beautiful pictures from magazines such as "Country" and "Birds and Blooms" can be a good activity. There's also a "fabric swatch' available from S&S World wide that has several different colored/textured swatches of fabric on a ring. You can discuss the different colors and textures. One thing I am working on is a sensory bag in which you put in common, familiar items such as clothespins and erasers--you have people reach in the bag and try to guess what the item is they are handling. Aromatherapy and hand massage with a nicely-scented lotion is also great.

Susan 12th Aug 2019 Activity Director
Great ideas Kim
Solange 13th Aug 2019 Diversional Therapist
Thank you for sharing Kim. It is much appreciated.
Karen 13th Aug 2019 Carer Support Worker
Hi Marija
I worked for many years on an dementia assessment unit and found that person centered activities and career type activates work the best. E.g. if you have a plumber getting lots of pipes to engage with really works, this type of activity prompts long term memories and makes the person feel useful. within a group for advanced clients have you tired balloon tennis, having large balloons and passing this around will engage people for a long time. Having themed reminisced boxes is also a good activity that clients will usually engage with.
tina 13th Aug 2019
Hi! We have around 50 elders in our Dementia unit and we about 25 to 30 participants in most events and sometimes even more. This happens because we get the care staff involved in helping to encourage the elders and walk with them to and from programs.

We also try to keep them engaged by scheduling activities back to back so they stay interested. I always like to have a cart with extra activities for those who need something busy, have all the supplies ready to go so I don’t have to leave so I can keep them engaged. I like to play music during my activities.

9:30 devotion
10:00 exercise
10:30 music
2:30 games & puzzles
3:00 flower arrangements
3:45 sorting, rummaging & folding
4:15 poetry

Susan 14th Aug 2019 Activity Director
Thank you Karen for your thoughts good ideas
Marija 15th Aug 2019 Activities Coordinator
Thank you everyone for these wonderfull ideas !! I appreciate it so much. Just a quick question for Kim: how do you find the scents, are they coming directly from the source, like the mowed grass or you can get some samples ?
Susan 15th Aug 2019 Activity Director
Thank you Tina great ideas and a great schedule

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