Forum Discussion

Ask questions, share ideas and support one another.

Jennifer 21st Apr 2015 Lifestyle co-ordinator
Hi all, I was wondering if anyone has some ideas for physically fit men with challenging behaviours, alcohol dementia, early onset dementia, always trying to escape, post traumatic stress from Vietnam war etc. I currently do cooking, BBQS, woodwork with power tools as well, painting, we have mini golf, outdoor scoring basket ball, have a big backyard, raised garden beds, clothes line, walking track, spare scooter to ride, not interested in anything childish, We take them on walks as able down the road, even go to garage sales as able, down the car wash, I bake bread with them, but they still get so restless especially with sundowner's around 4 onwards. This is when they often bail me up demanding alcohoI, have one staff member on till 7pm for activities. We have tea at 5 pm Currently I am at a loss to stop the physical and verbal fights. Any more ideas would be gratefully received. The unit is for 32 residents. Secure. I only have 6 ladies, 4 are frail and 2 are not .Rest are mobile and in your face kind of clients. Ideas welcome
Rosina 22nd Apr 2015 Client Liaison Manager
sounds like you have it all covered, it is hard to engage a lot of residents especially males of different ages, smaller group activities not to competitive and some softer music in the background the environment maybe to hyper and this seems to set the mood- I love all the thought you have put into your ideas, can you set up small activity stations throughout your unit and set up some residents in each and you move around, maybe by the time you return you can guide them onto something else and they can move to the next activity
Jennifer 28th Apr 2015 Lifestyle co-ordinator
thanks for that, we had done work stations but they left holes in the walls and the boards were not washable so they ended up removing them and re-plastering the walls. I know my boss won;t go down that path, they have super
I did think I could do something similar but using desks on lockable wheels. I have purchase one and its working so will get another. Great for D/T's only $79 from Office works.
Sharon 20th May 2015 RAO
Hi for a start it is a big ask for you to manage 32 residents, it's just not going to happen especially at that hour of the day. I have employed another RAO who works 11am until 6pm and is there to minimise behaviours. We have found 1:1 with the residents beneficial, calming music, poetry read, especially Banjo Patterson, walks outside, Ice cream trolley(ice creams in cones) this gets everyone sitting down and quiet and the residents love it. It is about keeping people calm. My volunteers have made me memory books. These are folders with pictures (laminated) and a little about the picture are really popular. We have animal, cars, tools, different countries, anything that will hold their interest. Our volunteers made the books from old calenders, books bought at op shops, and donations from families, the biggest cost being the laminating sheets. Good luck..
Jennifer 23rd May 2015 Lifestyle co-ordinator
Thanks, have done all that, not interested in pictures, men are too active, find it childish, they play golf, basket ball, exercise ball, table tennis, use plumbing parts, large screws, bolts etc to wind and fiddle with. Unfortunately being for profit we struggle for volunteers and we are in quite a small town.I also think most wouldn't want to be at risk with such unpredictable residents. I think it seems more like a psyc. geriactic unit but without the resources.We have built up a good reputation for the unit but its challenging and trying often and hilarious all in one. thanks everyone,
Kelly 30th Apr 2019
I found one idea for a man that loves math. I bought a bunch of keyed locks at a dollar store. Then put the solution on the keyring and the problem on the lock. He enjoys this because he can fiddle with the keys as well as have the correct solution and challenge his math. We also set up a box with sand paper and different types of wood. Out location was built December 1st so we used a lot of the trimming for the walls and doors. He enjoyed working on this items as well. He also will get some tools and work on fixing some walkers. They are not actually broken but he feels a sense of accomplishment when he knows he helped other residents. Best of luck!!
Solange 30th Apr 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi, Kelly, Rosina, Jennifer, and Sharon. Very thoughtful ideas indeed. Thank you for sharing.
Susan 1st May 2019 Activity Director
Yes thanks for sharing and thanks for working hard for your residentsI know it's not easy
Have you tried starting an alcoholics anonymous group
If that is too much perhaps you can get a volunteer or two from the local group to come in to talk to some of your gentleman

What about simple drinking games that are fun like bunco
Or left right center or
Of course you wouldn't serve beer but could serve non-alcoholic beer or make mixed drinks without alcohol
I always used to joke you can have VO and ginger without the VO
A Favorites drink is cranberry juice and ginger Ale

What about a spiritual group
You may be able to get people from your local church to run this or at least get volunteers from the church to visit with residents one-on-one

What about doing karaoke or just singing Favorites of the group

I realize these ideas aren't exactly what you had in mind but they may make you think of other things that are similar that you could use

Good luck and thank you for all you do

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