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Oliver 24th Jul 2020 Team Leader
Hi all,

I work in a day service setting for older adults with a range of different abilities.

I have one gentleman who is quite far into his dementia journey mentally, but physically walks around completely unaided. He walks around constantly, as he used to be a caretaker he likes to check on things all the time, tapping doors, chairs, light switches etc. We have compiled a 'check list' as he always thinks he is at work.
I cannot seem to get him to engage in anything for more than a couple of minutes at a time.
We've done ball games, balloon games, quoits and within minutes he will become aggressive and throw something AT you rather than TO you, often while swearing.

Any ideas of activities that may help him to remain engaged for a longer period of time?
He rarely sits down!

Thanks all.
Susan 25th Jul 2020 Activity Director
Have you read these articles??
https://www.goldencarers.com/wandering-and-dementia/5349/
https://www.goldencarers.com/how-to-manage-aggressive-behavior/5725/

https://www.goldencarers.com/how-to-decrease-problem-behaviors/5056/
As the article say sometimes you just have to let the person do the wandering as long as it’s not hurting anyone
Clearly he does not want to participate in the group activities
If you took a good family history and there are no other interests that this person has you can just let him wander
Maybe you will find something that interests him
A lot of times there’s just a trial and error

Solange 26th Jul 2020 Diversional Therapist
Hi Oliver, it seems that what he really likes is walking. Would he appreciate company while walking? If so you could pair him with a peer who also enjoys walking. He may also enjoy walking with a volunteer occasionally (once a week) for interesting walks like gardens, parks, around ponds, or the beach.
Hanneke 28th Jul 2020 Manager Services
Hi Oliver, just wanted to let you know that I love the 'check list' idea. That way he feels he has a purpose and he recognizes elements from the past. Very nice.
Would a 'work station' be a possibility? A place where he can go to to do several of the checklist items in one spot. A sensory board that suits his wishes. I will attach a picture of an example I found on google. Perhaps that will keep the gentleman entertained and engaged for a longer period of time.
Last year I visited a nursing home nearby and they had a device called the Omi Vista, a digital sensory table. That looked great and could possible help you as well.
Susan 28th Jul 2020 Activity Director
Thank you for that information Hanneke
Thank you for the picture also
Oliver 28th Jul 2020 Team Leader
Thanks all! The check list has helped, but of course it's only when he wants to do it, some days he is interested, other days, not at all.
It's no problem if he just enjoys walking, at the moment he is attending our service alone due to COVID etc we aren't open properly to all of our customers.
The work station looks great! We did order a tool box with wooden tools etc, but he didn't show much interest in that.. but can always try again!

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