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Diversional & Recreational Therapist From Nelson, New Zealand


Christine 19th Feb 2020 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

Sensory Lavender Rice & Chamomile Dough for Dementia

We did this today, and the residents seem to enjoy it. We added in food colouring to change colour of dough for the extra visual sensory experience. Some of the Lavender Rice ended up in the Chamomile coloured dough but that’s ok, it’s about their creativity and engagement of any kind is better than nothing.
Christine 13th Sep 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

How to Celebrate Chocolate Milkshake Day

We did this yesterday and it was very successful. I set up a milkshake making area with ice cream, milk, straws, cups and the choice of 2 flavours and assisted the dementia residents make their own shakes. Even the sound of the milkshake machine being turned on was an important part and made them smile. It was a great sensory experience all around.
Christine 5th Sep 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

Pet Therapy (with a dog)

Canine friends in NZ offer a Pet therapy service by matching up Pets to Resthome residents. We have a dog that comes into our memory care unit once a fortnight and our residents love it. 2 have taken on the responsibility of helping walk the dog around the unit to other residents. It is a very worthwhile activity and enjoyed by many.
Christine 23rd Jul 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

How to Communicate with Body Language

Never under estimate the power of touch. A simple hand massage or a cuddle goes a long way to making a lonely elderly person feel special. I use these techniques a lot in the dementia unit I work in. The smile you get in return is so worth it.
Christine 8th Jun 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist


Thanks, some great ideas. Love the stars from ceiling and interviews on the red carpet.
Christine 7th Jun 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist


I am organising a Hollywood themed fine dining evening in August. Can you give me some suggestions as this is my first one. I am thinking Red carpet, dress as your favourite classic movie star. Any comments welcome.
Christine 12th May 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

Bird Types Matching Game

We did this yesterday and found them really engaged, which for a memory care area is sometimes hard. We started by putting home made bird seed feeders into trees on our courtyard, then putting photos out for them to try and recognise before telling them the facts. I then used you tube to put identifying bird sounds with photos and they really liked that part, so we used our senses with touch, visual and hearing.
Christine 19th Feb 2019 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

Games We Played as Kids Quiz

Get the staff involved, especially with the hula hooping, gets the residents really laughing.
Also remember to ask residents what other games they played, it gets them reminiscing and gives you good ideas for future activities.
Christine 29th Aug 2018 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

Scent Guessing

I created a sensory theme afternoon, with essential oils burning, strawberry scented candles, lava lamps, salt lamps, electric lighting, soothing music, herbs to smell, salted dough and mystery bean bags to touch. I closed curtains to create an effect and atmosphere. Very well received and lots of nice comments.
Christine 28th Aug 2018 Diversional & Recreational Therapist

Try a New Brew

I organised this with two different groups and each one got very positive feedback. Set the table nicely with colourful tablecothes, lace doilies, fresh flowers, china cups and saucers and little teapots. Sit the residents in a semi circle around table and do one tasting at a time, asking opinions and their thoughts. Give them time to answer and taste before brewing next flavour in a separate pot. I chose 5 teas including some herbal ones and 3 coffees. Keep boxes on table from teas you have brought so they can see and touch packaging. I also got them to smell teabags before brewing to see if they would like to taste as not all flavours appealed to everyone. Residents really enjoyed the whole experience.