Forum Discussion

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Leona 14th Jan 2014 ECA/DT
Hi I am the facilitator for a sundowners group and am running out of things to do with them, their cognitive stages vary and keeping them occupied three times a week for two hours is becoming very difficult, things I do karaoke, manicures, hand massages, reminiscing etc, anybody got any other ideas, quiz and puzzles don't work anymore. Thanks for a wonderful website.
Kate 14th Jan 2014 leisure&Lifestyle assistant
Gentle exercise to music.
or Sit residents in a circle and starting bouncing a large rubber ball towards them - they may pass it on or bounce/throw it back. exercise and a bit of fun. or use balloon.

Pauline 15th Jan 2014 Activity Officer
singalongs, dvds and music is your best bet at this time of the day everyone loves to sing and you will get through the worst of it without the residents realising they are doing it, you can also try book reading and just a cup of tea along with a chat. if none of this works try bingo everyone loves bingo but you may find it stimulating not relaxing. remember with sundowning you have to make it enjoyable, and relaxing so the residents will sleep when they go to bed. I also found that some quiet things like knitting and crocheting and helping with the evening chores for some residents will work. We all have an evening routine your job is to work the residents out and cater to their needs not the staffs. some men like to watch the evening news some DR Who some the evening comedey hour once you can work this out sundowning can be very easy for everyone.
Janet 15th Jan 2014 Occupational Therapy Assistant
How about sensory things, like a container with buttons, or leaves, or ribbons or all of the above. Ask Residents to pick something and talk about what its for, memories etc.
Annette 29th Jan 2014 Activity Officer
have you tried paper mache? it's relaxing tearing up the newspaper etc i used a balloon sitting in a bowl. then the residents painted the paper or the last covering put lovely coloured paper on top. We actually made yellow chickens with funky hair, eyes etc and then put them on a paper plate with grass around it (crepe paper) then had them as table deco's...they were so much fun, messy but everyone enjoyed looking at them on all the tables.
Chantal 3rd Feb 2014 Recreation Therapist
Hi Leona, we have just started trialling a later finishing time for our Lifestyle team so that we can accommodate our Dementia Specific Unit during sundowning. The things I have noticed that they seem to love is trivia (olden days), I give them the first line of a song and they try to remember it and sing what they know. Also word games they love like trying to remember old sayings or proverbs etc. But the thing we found particularly interesting was when we tried to remember old nursery rhymes which was funny and very enthusiastically enjoyed by all residents. Charades is another one they get very amused by (I do the acting) and they are actually quite good at it. We also walk for 15mins before we sit and do our activity as it gets them out in the fresh air, they really enjoy it, we discuss the plants and outside life and it relaxes them immensely. Hope some of this is helpful.
John 25th Mar 2014 Semi-retired
I am working on several projects such a BIG Sudoku, BIG Scrabble and BIG Connect Four. I am trying to make these games/puzzles more active, (stand up, move about), rather than passive, (sitting down).

If anyone would like to discuss these type of activities, or has any experience using something like this, please contact me via Golden Carers forums.
Thanks. John English
KRISTY 3rd Dec 2020 Facility Manager
I am also running out of ideas on what to do during sundown which affects quite a few of our residents from 4 to 5 pm. I like the above mentioned ideas but most of the residents in the Dimentia Ward don't speak English so doing word games, reading and playing charades is practically impossible. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.
Susan 4th Dec 2020 Activity Director
Hi Kristy
Have you had time to read this comment
Include in the article about sundowning
Have you tried a walking group??
Is this right before or right after these people eat??
Perhaps they can get the table ready for the evening meal??
Are you bored with the routine or are they bored with it??
Sometimes the staff gets bored because residents usually like routine
What do you include in the group now???

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