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Lorraine 7th Feb 2023 Elder Care/Activities Director
Mixed congnitive and physical abilities group - ideas that fit this profile?

I am working with a group that numbers generally between 6 and 11 each time I do activities. My time is limited to not more than 1.25 hours of actual activity time, as I set up, serve, and clean up the tea/coffee/snacks before and after.

Sometimes we have a visitor - family member or companion to one of the residents, and then the dynamic picks up, but generally, I have a group that includes mild - moderate dementia (various sorts and manifestations), plus a couple of people who are more congnitively able, but physically challenged due to stroke or Parkinson's.

Sometimes, they dynamic is great, and sometimes I feel like poor old Sisiphus, pushing the proverbial rock uphill... :-/ If I make it easy, then my more congnitively able folks are bored, and too hard, the others fall asleep (well, they do that sometimes anyway :-)

I've been doing themed activities using some of the armchair travel ideas (scaled down for our time and budget limitations - which are severe, btw), and I often make quizzes that I tie to bingo games by anouncing the number of the quizz question (and writing it on a whiteboard), so the appropriate bingo number can be covered. It works, but I don't want to do that every time, and it's also time consuming coming up with extended questions (more than the # on the GC quizzes).

We also play lots of different word games (some from GC) on the whiteboard, but usually the same 3-4 people answering. I have also created a couple of floor games, but again, it can be challenging for those physically limited to participate. My giant foam dice are good in this regard.

At the end of the long post (thank you for getting this far!!), I am after some easy games that are both simple to plan and to execute (keeping in mind our almost non-existant budget) and that are fun without being painfully simple or insulting for our "smart set", if you will.
Susan 8th Feb 2023 Activity Director
Hi Lorraine
Thank you for providing so much detail
First, let me say that every time is not going to be magical
Usually group members like things to be similar so they can count on. What is it going on and usually the staff gets bored before the participants
Anyway, with that said, hi, thank you, as the leader needs to be excited, enthused and engaging and tried to include everyone
I’ call iti IEEE
I think of it like being a performer and you are performing in front of the group and you need to be enthusiastic and excited about what you’re doing
i’d like sing-alongs and other kinds of musical activities because everyone can sing
Hi Beth, there is someone in the group that sings pretty well even if you don’t
I like play name that tune but instead playing notes of the song, I’ll give partial song titles
For example, bicycle built for two first I say bicycle then I see if someone can give me the title next time I say bicycle built and then hopefully someone will give me the title then we sing this song
Have the higher functioning residents . Help you get a list of songs together that everyone can sing
You can have partners pairing the higher functioning people with the lower functioning ones
You can hand out prizes to those who help you out and then may be a friend and a handshake or hug would be enough if that’s all you can afford
Also, compliments compliments compliments are a good tool, telling each person what wonderful job they’re doing, especially if their behavior improves
You can have higher functioning resonance helped you leave the group and of course have them like a wonderful job they’re doing and thank them profusely for doing it
Rose 24th Feb 2023 Community Living Coordinator
Have you thought about doing shorter activities, maybe doing a 40 minute one for the higher functioning followed by a 30 minute slower/easier version for the lower functioning people. I pretty much gave up doing big activities trying to include everyone of all functioning levels long ago. I have time slots set out for higher functioning activities for those folks, and then simplified activities for lower functioning. When the high functioning folks are in activities the cognitively impaired are listening to music or watching nature videos. While the more confused folks are in their activity the higher functioning folks are encouraged to pursue independent activities as much as they are able. (this might simply be watching a movie or tv show.) I'm in SNF with a wide variety of abilities from the very cognitively intact rehab person to very low functioning dementia people.

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