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Activities Assistant Dementia Unit From England, United Kingdom

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Pauline 16th Feb 2021 Activities Assistant Dementia Unit


Hello Kathleen, I see you have some lovely activities suggested for your residents in the above posts. I am wondering if you might need help more with the actual planning of your role.
I have been activities assistant for many years in a mixed level dementia unit. I have been left to get on with my own planning, purchasing and 'doing' the actual activities, so I understand how difficult it is for you.
I can make a few suggestions.
Really get to know your residents through talking 1/1 with them, to families and staff. Use Life History forms to build up a profile of each resident. Then you will be able to plan activities that are person-centred. Excuse the jargon but it is really important that you find out what they really like. Include previous work, travel, music, pets, hobbies, etc etc. For example, a residents might have loved tinkering with old motor-bikes. So collect up a load of parts and spend time, safely, with him, looking at them and photos of bikes.
So activities are guided by what the resident themselves want and may respond to. Once you have a starting profile you get to the fun part when you can look up ideas on this site and use your own ingenuity to make activities for each resident. You will then be able to group the residents, so if gardening is a favourite for five of them you would be able to plan gardening activities. While you are busy with that activity the other residents could have books and puzzles, games and music next to them.
It is impossible to cater for all 30 at once so I hope you will be able to call on the care staff. Not easy I know!
This will take a long time initially, I see you have 30 residents. You have my sympathy, that is a lot to care for. So you will need to enlist the support of your Activities manager. Can I suggest you go to the manager and discuss your plans and ask for extra paid time to set it all up.
There are many world wide sites that can help like NAPA, etc.
Please do not beat yourself up when you feel that you are not successful or that the residents are not 'responding'. Response takes many forms and you may see small movements, like toe tapping to music.
I wish you well. There are many days when I feel things just did not go well then the little 'Pearl’ moments happen.

Do you have a monthly plan
Pauline 27th Nov 2020 Activities Assistant Dementia Unit

Snowball Garland

Great idea. Could also be used with home made pom-poms. Thanks.