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Jo

Activity Coordinator From Canterbury, New Zealand


2 Comments

Jo 16th Jan 2021 Activity Coordinator

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Hi it sounds like you have plenty of great ideas. I have found that working with dementia patients of different levels comes down to trial and error as some things work and others don't. You may find care staff are able to help advise on what sort of activities work and provide ideas as well. Dementia patients are often very quiet in groups so I tend to do a lot of the talking and also rely on the few residents who are still able to communicate easily.

As you get to know the residents and their likes, dislikes and interests the job will become easier. Golden Carers is a great site with loads of activities and support. I currently work with moderate and advanced dementia patients and have found the following to be useful depending on the level of dementia:

Dice game - first residents in round who get a total of 30 wins or a single round with the highest number is the winner/s
Balloon - This is a wonderful activity for advanced dementia for those who can still participate. I often say we will hit it 100 or 200 times and can only miss three times. It puts a smile on peoples faces and often they will count their numbers. We do it in lots of 5 or 10 hits per resident. This can be also be done with advanced dementia but I don't count
Music therapy - Find they music they liked when growing up - we did the birdie dance song sitting down the other day
Reading - Reading is one of the last skills to go in dementia so asking residents to read nursery rhymes or quotes is popular. I often put these in large print for reading and have a game where I cut quotes up and the residents match them up. Nursery rhymes can also be used for reminiscing as residents often remember reading them to their children.
Visual pictures - These are particularly useful for advanced dementia and reminiscing. A gardener may enjoy looking at flowers, calendars that show famous sights in the local area, native animals, fruit and vegetables. I like to use A5 pictures that are easier to see and ask my residents to name the pictures and if we get so many right there is a prize.
Hand massage and ice cream is always a winner in our advanced dementia unit.
We have lots of musical entertainers that help.
I love aquapainting (paint with water) as residents cannot fail and love seeing the pictures come through. These can be reused numerous times and are sold by S&S.
Throw different types of balls into a basket or have a group of residents rolling ball/s around table and trying to make sure it does not go off the table.
Knocking down plastic water cup towers with a small ball always put a smile on people's faces
Reminiscing can be hard but simple questions such as how did you get to school , what did your parents do, who taught you to drive in small groups or 1:1 can help.

Hope this helps and all the best in your new role!
Jo 26th Jun 2020 Activity Coordinator

Card Bingo

Card housie is very popular in our facility. We have dementia patients who may struggle to play and often call out whilst we are playing. I now have the residents who constantly call out or only want to watch the game call the cards out and I then repeat it for the other residents. This keeps everyone involved in the game.
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