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Lori 1st Oct 2021 Activity
Does anyone have suggestions I am in a dementia unit most of them don’t have ability to do much their eyes are bad and they are too anxious to sit for anything most of my day is 1/1 trying to help ones with behaviors. Must be very easy things?
Susan 2nd Oct 2021 Activity Director
Hi Lori
You have a very challenging situation
Do you have any volunteers to help you or is someone on staff willing to help you??
I know that sometimes it’s hard to get help
I think a music activity would be good for the group because they can participate
Golden Carers has mini music activities from a sing-along to just listening to music
Keeping those with behaviors happy is another story
Do you know what triggers their behavior??
Here are some articles on helping with problem behavior
The truth of the matter is it is not easy
What may work one day may not work the next
But if you and the staff see what triggers the behaviors perhaps you can decrease them
Other group activities may be reading a short story and make it interactive
An exercise group may work also
I’d like playing table ball and other simple physical activities
I hope things work out do not be afraid to ask for help
Michelle 3rd Oct 2021 Activity Director
What works for one situation is I let her follow me everywhere and incorporate her in whatever I'm doing. "She's my friend at work while she's on vacation." She helps me with everything, and I have her do something I know she will and can do, while I am beside her doing something else that works in the moment. When she's tired, emotional, forgetful, easily bored and distracted during group activities, I try to direct her to spend more time in her room. On those days, I write large print notices of everything that would make her feel comfortable in staying in her room. I have large print signs all over her apt to remind her of everything, like the wrist band she should push to call for assistance or what time we would come get her for meals. For her it was, this is where you are and how you got here and what you are supposed to do. Mentioning her son's name and reminding her he found this place for her, and that he'll be here to pick her up on the weekend, or that, he just dropped her off from being home with him on the weekend. Reminding her of the things she likes and pointing out the books on her nightstand she likes reading or directing her to watch her football or packing her bag for next trip home. I also made a calendar system in her room where I post the weekly activities and meals, and a calendar I mark off every day and after each activity. Caregivers help me by marking off the hourly activities she has already attended for the day/week, so the resident can figure out what she has done for the day. The more questions I can figure out how to answer in a very accommodating not overwhelming way, the less questions she asks and more at ease she reports as.
When I implemented this system for her, she stayed in her apartment more and appeared very content to me on my frequent check-in's. She is less emotional and crying about not knowing where she is or wanting to go home. Her time in group activities is more productive and she seems to be in better spirits.
At first this was a lot to do for one person, but once I got the main system set up and going consistently, I started doing it for other residents and it's working more than not. It has helped ME so much in cutting down on the constant need to redirect, and knowing that the communication piece is in place and that the resident will be able to self-educate, self-contain and become more self-reliant during the times I or someone else cannot be with them (because the resident is unable to operate on what our business-operating needs are, so we have to operate when/how they need us). Because, as you said, we're mostly dealing with behaviors.
Something that helps with other's too, is, I have arranged activity space in the activity room for my residents that need individual activities within a group environment. I am able to work three different tables of activities, accommodating three or more different levels of residents needs this way, including their ability to come and go when they get restless, or as needed, while I'm conducting a bigger group activity. But I think this only works because I have the note/calendar systems set up in the residents' rooms. So they are constantly redirecting themselves, as needed, while I am making sure they are getting the activity they need.
Hope any of this is helpful.
Susan 3rd Oct 2021 Activity Director
Wow Michelle
Thank you for this information
Sounds like you have a good handle on the situation

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