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Marina 14th Jul 2012 Diversional Therapist I/T
To Christine in Canberra, Hi I work in a secure Dementia wing, and I understand how hard it is to keep the residents stimulated. All my residents (25) usually sit together in the dining room lounge area. We dont have a T.V. going there, but lots of different types of music. Cook Island music is very popular with us. What I do is lots of activities and work around the lounge, so I concentrate on a group or an individual then move to another group, this way the others usually are watching everything going on. I play a lot of ball games, and individual sit dancing, which is basically just moving the residents arms or legs to the music (to their ability). Also on the dining tables, I put fiddle objects, magazines, baby dolls and clothes,soft toys etc. The baby dolls are really popular I have about 6 now, and even the men love a cuddle ocassionally. It is amazing how the residents can start communicating to each other when holding a baby doll. There conversation may not make sense to us, but they are all smiles.

We do a lot of art, and put it all on a large board so everyone can see,. and the residents are very proud of what they achieve. I have done art with my resident twice a week now for a couple of years, and they are getting much better. Lollies certainly make it a lot more fun. The art has to be colourful and easy to do. I use childrens poster paint, I found they can use brush and paint much better than felt tips. The residents usually try to eat the paint at first, but doesnt take long for them to know its yuk. Lollies are much better. I wish you all the best, it certainly feels wonderful when your residents look happy in what they do. Marina D.T.

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