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Holly 26th Jun 2015
Hello! I am after some ideas for names for 2x new groups we are developing in our facility. One group is for our high cognitive functioning residents, and the other is for our medium cognitive functioning residents. Both groups will involve a mix of activities including physical activities and cognitively stimulating activities. Thank you :)
Kymberly 14th Oct 2015 Activities Coordinator
I have a social group that is probably aimed at this group of people, that because of numbers i now do 3 times a week. It started as a way to get people out of their rooms and participating/interacting. After nearly 10 years i hv a formula that i find caters for all, those that just want the company, those that just want to catch up for idle chat and those that want to keep their minds active. And it has helped to form friendships between residents. This week topic-wise i brought up the fact i hv a little green frog in my back yard, to lead into talk about what wildlife they'd had, which 'plagues' theyve had in their lifetime (ie toads beetles), why they get out of hand, disappearing animals, pets they adopted from the wild, the environment etc, but the idea is to get them to share this info, even though i hv prepared it before i turn up. I now hv a bell to ring for when they get a little too noisy, whereas at one stage i had to fill in most of the time with my jabbering. After all this time it would be helpful to swap ideas with someone too - anyone interested? It also comes with a cuppa, and although i used to provide biscuits etc they've adopted the 'bring a plate' routine, which has brought in another social element. If someone would like to share topics i would really appreciate it. I made my own skirt last weekend for the 1st time so next topic is who taught them, sewing machines in their day, what they made, did they teach their children, should boys learn too, wot the 'computer'-type machines do now, army boys learning how to sew b4 they went overseas. I printed out a few pics of old peddle machines. Some weeks we dont get to my topic, because someone has something else i've gone with. Please get in touch if your interested! Some weeks i struggle for something new

Julie 24th Oct 2015
Hello Kymberly,

we do something similar called 'friendship group'. Topics vary and morning tea is served. Some recent topics have been: Jobs that no longer exist, 1950's housewife, Australian inventions, Australian train journey's, Superstitions, School days, Bring something special to share ie photo, jewelry, Dance hall days, Summer holidays and Then and now ie fridges, cars, planes, computers etc etc. Would love some suggestions from your 10 years of experience!

Kymberly 30th Oct 2015 Activities Coordinator
Wonderful ideas there Julie - I hvnt done 'train journeys'. Last week we talked about the backyard dunny, and a gentleman told us one night he lowered the clothesline so the dunny man tripped when he had his bucket full! Was very funny. I'll get my topics together and start a slow list if you'd like to share!!! The week before we talked about the things we would've liked to know from our past relatives, and how it would be good to have had information written down...i wrote down the list we came up with and in the future I plan to help individuals fill it out. The week before we talked about inventions - 'who'da thought?' - the unimaginable or ridiculous things we hv. IPods, computers, microwaves, xray machines - & are they a good thing? I'd love to keep swapping
Sharen 2nd Nov 2015
Kymberly and Julie i'd love to exchange some ideas with you both. i work in day centres with the over 65's. The average age is eighty two. i have in the past suggested things for the support staff to discuss in group discussions. Things such as the incredible changes in medicine. i had a dear friend who hated the smell of ether, because that was what they used when she was young and needed to have a broken arm reset.
Also with the LGBTI how attitudes have changed over the years, how these people were treated in the past and where not accepted into nursing homes and had electric shock treatment etc. You could talk about Graham Kennedy and Clarke Cable etc.

i have also introduced an activity called "Mindfulness". it is a tool used by psychologist to help people with anxiety, depression and other such ailments. basically what it does is bring people back to the here and now. It stops the mind from worrying about the past or the future and grounds you. Remember the saying - take time to stop and smell the roses. This exercise is an example of that.

This activity uses our five senses, sight, taste, smell, hearing and touch. you could do this at your morning cuppa time for example.
1: Ask everyone to please be quiet so that they can hear what is around them, after a minute or two ask them what they can hear.
the wind rustling the trees, a bird calling out, traffic, an aeroplane, a dog barking etc
2: move to the next sense: put their hands around the cup of tea or coffee, how does it feel:
the cup feels warm, hot or cold,describe the texture, smooth, bumpy etc
3: Now smell what you have in your hand - try and describe the smell: They may have a glass of water and not smell anything, so ask them what can they smell in the air - is it fresh air or is it polluted, so on and so on. There may be flowers on the table that they can smell -
4: on to the next sense, taste: take a sip and explain the taste - bitter, sweet, milky etc
5: finally what can they see: i am sure there will be lots of answers, a cup, a saucer, milk jug, sugar bowl, flowers on the table, a table, chairs, people. Then you could make it a little more personal "Mary has a new colour in her hair", "John is wearing brown socks"
While they are doing this exercise they are taking in the world around them and really looking at it, not just living in it.
you could use a white board and write down the answers the clients give you and make a competition out of it. Count how many answers they get to each of the five senses and see if they can beat it the next time you do the activity.

i hope that you enjoy these activities.

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