Amazon SearchBox

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

AULD LANG SYNE

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia music activity

The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

 Here are the lyrics

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top Easy Soup Recipes

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

The weather is gettting colder. There is nothing like a bowl of good soup to make you and your loved ones or clients feel warm all over.
Here are some simple basic soup recipes. Of course, you can open up a can, if making a soup from scratch is too difficult or if you are short on time.

Food Network

1. Basic Chicken Chop 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 2 carrots and 1 tablespoon thyme; sauté in butter until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups chicken broth; simmer 20 minutes. Add 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1/3 cup mixed chopped dill and parsley, and some lemon juice.

2. Chicken Rice Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1); omit dill and add chives, chervil and tarragon. Stir in 1/3 cup cooked basmati rice.

3. Italian Wedding Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1) with a rind of parmesan in the broth. Add 1 pound mini meatballs, 1 cup orzo and 3 cups torn escarole; simmer until the orzo is tender.

4. Chicken Dumpling Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup farina cereal and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drop half-teaspoonfuls into simmering chicken broth; cook for 3 minutes after the dumplings float.

5. Escarole and White Bean Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 head chopped escarole and a parmesan rind; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 can white beans, parmesan and salt.

6. Butternut Squash Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Simmer until tender, then puree.

7. Squash and Sage Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6) using 2 shallots instead of onion. Fry sage leaves in the butter. Replace 1 1/2 cups of the broth with apple cider; add nutmeg. Top with crème fraîche and the fried sage.

Food Network

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Soup Humor (part 3)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

It is always good to make those with dementia and other long term care residents laugh. With that I bring you

Soup Humor(part 3)

• I put instant soup in a microwave and almost went back in time. (Steven Wright)
• I make soup so thick that when I stir it, the room goes round.
• We were eating in this open-air café when it started raining. It took us an hour and a half to finish our soup.
• She's such a noisy eater that when she started on the soup, six people got up and started doing the polka.
• Some of the stuff that stares out of gumbo should not be allowed out except for Halloween. (Steve Epstein)
• I don't want to panic, but my alphabet soup says, "Forget about me...just try to save yourself." (Tom Wilson)
• He's so meticulous he eats his alphabet soup in alphabetical order. (Mitch Murray, 60's songwriter turned speechwriter)
• When their little boy wouldn't speak, mom and dad took him to the doctor, who was also baffled. Finally one day the boy said, "My soup is too cold." His parents were ecstatic. "Why haven't you spoken to us up to now?" "Because the soup was never too cold before."



)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soup Humor (part 2)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

It is always good to make those with dementia and other long term care residents laugh. With that I bring you

Soup Humor(part 2)

• Why do the New England Patriots eat their soup on a plate? Because bowls make them choke!!! (Thanks to Ryan Campbell for his timely joke on Superbowl XLII, New England Patriots v. New York Giants.)
• You know what's good about sheep's head broth? Its eyes will see you through the week.
• What's Martha Stewart's recipe for chicken soup? First, boil the chicken then dump the stock.
• "How did the cannibal cook respond when complimented on his soup?" "It's all relatives."
• "When is rabbit soup not good?" "When there's a hare in it."
• "Do you like day-old soup?" "Yes, I do." "Well, come back tomorrow, then." (Attributed to the wife of a wealthy Canadian philanthropist)
• "Who is the head of a soup factory?" "Souperman" (7-year-old Californian Marguerite, bless her heart)
• "How you make gold soup?" "With 22 carrots."
• "A bowl of alphabet soup a day is good for the vowels." (Mitch Murray, 60's songwriter turned speechwriter)
• "Wonton disregard: negligently serving hot noodle soup" (L.A. Times, 4/16/02)
• "What do ducks have for lunch?" "Soup and quackers"
• "Never darken my Dior again" (Canadian actress, when a waiter at Buckingham Palace spilled soup on her dress)
• When is soup musical? When it's piping hot.
• On bad movies: "Better films have formed atop day-old soup."
• "At the Olympics, Mormon president Gordon B. Hinckley met with President Bush and the First Lady and declared them both from 'good stock.' Does he mean, like, soup?" (Ron C. Judd, Seattle Times).
• What do you call 2,000 pounds of Chinese Soup? Won Ton.
• You know how movies always have sex scenes and the studios say that is because sex is part of life and movies should be lifelike? So why don't movies have more soup scenes? Soup is part of life; no one was ever too tired to have soup.... (Jackie Mason, in The World According to Me--many thanks to Louis S. for the contribution).
• I went to a restaurant that serves "lunch at any time." So I ordered bean soup during the Renaissance." (Stephen Wright)
• "What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?" "Anyone can roast beef."
• A retired printer went into the restaurant business. One day one of his customers cried, "This is an outrage--there's a needle in this soup!" "Merely a typographical error, sir," said the printer, "should have been 'noodle.'"
• When Marilyn Monroe was married to Arthur Miller, she got tired of his mother always serving matzo ball soup. "Gee, Arthur," she said after the tenth time, "These matzo balls are pretty nice, but isn't there any other part of the matzo you can eat?"
• Checking the menu, a restaurant customer ordered a bowl of vegetable soup. After a couple spoonsful, he saw a circle of wetness right under the bowl on the tablecloth. He called the waitress over and said, "It's all wet down here. The bowl must be cracked." The waitress said, "You ordered the vegetable soup, didn't you?" "Yes," he replied. "Well, maybe it has a leek in it." (Milton Berle)
• The cannibal wiped his mouth daintily and said, "My wife makes great soup. But I'll miss her."
• "Yes, I know fish is brain food, but I don't care much for fish. Isn't there some other brain food?" "Well, there's noodle soup."
• "Will you join me in a bowl of soup?" "Is it big enough for both of us?"
• "What do you call a chicken in a hot tub?" "Soup."
• Bill and Hillary Clinton were at a restaurant. The waitress asked Hillary for her order. She said, "I'll have the onion soup and the chicken dinner." The waitress said, "what would you like for your vegetable?" Hillary said, "He can order for himself."
• "What is Dracula's favorite soup?" "Scream of tomato."
• "What does a dragon eat with soup?" "Firecrackers."
• "What do firemen put in their soup?" "Firecrackers."
• "Is chicken soup good for your health?" "Not if you're the chicken."
• "What does pea soup taste like when it gets cold?" "I don't know. Who would eat cold pea soup?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Suggestions for 6 list

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

If you subscribe to Activity Director Today then you know what this is all about. Just to give you some hints. It has to do with dice and activities. Cick on dice games for more information.

1 Say your favorite color and name something that is that color
2 Sing a song about smiling (or any other thing).
3 Touch your nose (or any other thing) three times.
4 Clap your hands four times
5 Say your name and your favorite.......
6 Name six things that start with the letter A (or any letter for that matter)

Of course these are only ideas. You can make the things to do easier or harder depending on the ability of the person whose turn it is.

Check out this book too

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another way to make dice

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities



Cut the other carton the same way, discard the tops  You now have 2 cubes, both missing a side.

Push one cube into the other the open side down

Cover with white paper

Draw the appropriate number of dots on each side or cut dots out of block constuction paper or other dark material such as felt or foam sheeis or pom poms.
Take two milk boxes the same size.  Measure the base, mark the same distance on the side of the box and cut.  You are making a cube.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Make some dice to use with nursing home residents

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

To make your own dice:

Print this page out - 






Print out as many copies that you need to make a die you like.
Cut the die out along its outside border.
Fold the die along each of the six sides (along the lines).
With small pieces of clear tape, tape each edge to another edge. You should get a nice cube.
Roll the die to see if it works, then play the game!!
Your die may be a bit lopsided, but it should work. You may have make several die to get one you like.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are dice games useful for those with dementia?

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is interesting information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

AC Content

Large dice are a useful tool when it comes to designing and playing games with those who have dementia.

This is particularly true if the person or persons in question liked to play games using dice before they had There are several things you should keep in mind before and during the designing and playing of dice games or any games for that matter when it comes to people with dementia.

Although it may be fun for some to have winners and losers, it is best not to emphasize this, but rather the fun of the game complimenting those who try their best to play.

Also introduce one game at time. Then play this game for several weeks before trying another similar game. If the games are quite a bit different, you may be able to introduce more than one at a time. Always follow the KISS rule. That is keep it as simple as possible.

You should you play dice games for several reasons Dice games are fun. Dice games have been played for years. Thus many people with dementia find dice games familiar. Familiar is always good when you are doing something with those who have dementia.
Dice games are extremely versatile. Some dice games rely on luck, and some use skill and planning. Some games use a combination of both. You can find dice games to play with one player or a whole group of players. There are dice games you can play on a table or on the floor.

Dice games are mind stimulating. This, as you probably know, is especially good for those with dementia. Studies show that persons with dementia, who keep their mind stimulated, show a slower decline in mental functioning than those who do not. They encourage counting, numbers recognition, and mental addition. Dice games reinforce the idea of taking turns, scoring, patience, and a whole host of other things.

Dice games can be played in a small space and are easily transportable. You can always find room for a couple of dice. You can even make your own dice by covering small to large boxes with white paper and drawing or pasting circles or numbers on them.

Dice games give those with dementia who play them personal satisfaction. Most people love the look and feel of dice especially home made ones.

more information on Dice Games For Those With Dementia

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Will your nursing home survive the culture change and MDS 3.0? (part 3)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Missourian

The most successful activities typically involve history (e.g. trivia), and in recent years have included dice games that call for dexterity, hand-eye coordination and mental math.

Arts and crafts also tend to be popular, especially when the staff can say, “‘We’re making these for somebody,’ and it becomes a service,” Henderson said.

But there’s one activity the trainees are prohibited from sharing:

BINGO.

Henderson calls it “the B-word.”

Not only does BINGO reinforce stereotypes, she thinks, but there are countless other ways to meet the residents’ needs – which is, in fact, the only explicit requirement for long-term care activities programs.

Public facilities, those accepting Medicare and Medicaid, must comply with federal regulations that each resident has a right to:

“(1) Choose activities, schedules and health care consistent with his or her interests, assessments, and plans of care; (2) Interact with members of the community both inside and outside the facility and (3) Make choices about aspects of his or her life in the facility that are significant to the resident.”

No minimum number of hours or range of planned activities are spelled out, so long as residents may choose from schedules conducive to their needs and interests.

But facilities can get cited with “automatic deficiencies” if they lack a qualified employee designated for the activities program – thanks to a rule change last year that made Missouri’s interpretive guidelines stricter.

The rule change was a boon for activities professionals, Henderson said, because planned activities had been pushed to the back burner in some instances.

“A lot of people were getting locked into ‘OK, every Tuesday we’re going to do this ...’ and the calendar would look the same every month,” she said.

And perhaps the rule change comes in time for the next generation of long-term care customers — the boomers — who have been saving for retirement and “will pick where they want to live,” Henderson said.

She also suspects boomers will demand certain things — such as livelier activities, private rooms (many facilities now have double-occupancy rooms), and happy hours for drinking (if they choose).

“They’re not gonna sit around staring at each other,” Henderson said.


Promoting independence

Beth Simpson is director of the Central Missouri area’s Ombudsman Program, which is based out of the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging.

The goal is to “promote senior independence,” something Simpson and two other ombudsmen accomplish by overseeing 162 senior homes in 19 counties, including Boone. Boone County has 21 establishments, which range in capacity from 12 to 132 beds. Additionally, volunteers throughout central Missouri pay weekly visits to assigned establishments to talk to residents and ensure that their needs are being met.

The program serves an important function, considering how few outside contacts elderly residents are likely to have and that many long-term care residents experience some degree of dementia. Weekly ombudsmen visits may address problems before they become larger, keeping the homes on track for annual federal and state regulatory visits.

An ombudsman for almost 12 years, Simpson has witnessed much of the ongoing culture change, recalling when nursing homes were run by nurses and operated according to a medical model.

“But not everyone there is sick,” Simpson said.

The goal of the more resident-centered approach is to involve the entire staff in facilitating meaningful activities — ones that treat residents like people instead of patients.

And according to Pioneer Network, a coalition at the forefront of the long-term care culture change, the term “residents” ought to evolve further, into something more personal like “elders,” or simply “individuals.”

Such person-centered language, according to Pioneer Network, would further specify these individuals:




■wear “incontinence garments” or “disposable briefs,” not “diapers.”


■wear “clothing protectors,” not “bibs.”


■might “need assistance with dining,” but aren’t “feeders.”


■enjoy “snacks,” not “nourishment.”


■eat “dinners,” not “trays.”


■“use” wheelchairs, but aren’t “confined” to them, and


■want “meaningful things to do” – and not merely “activities.”



By listening to and regarding individuals’ unique preferences, staff will be better equipped to offer a program of activities that adds meaning to each elder’s day.

One of the best things about senior communities, Simpson said, is the socialization they provide for seniors who might otherwise live isolated from others.

“But beyond that, life shouldn’t change too much,” Simpson said.

“You want people to do what they did while they were at home. For example, some people are night owls, and maybe want to get up late and just watch the morning shows.”

Thus, as part of her advocacy for senior independence, Simpson reminds residents that if they want to, they have the right to sleep in.


Getting personal

Rashawn Cason is the activities director for Columbia Manor Care Center. She’s the one who invited Elvis. She began working at the Manor two years ago as a nurse assistant, then as a certified nurse assistant, and then as activities assistant before she became the sole activities director. She is 20.

Cason arrives weekdays around 7:45 a.m., stopping by the breakfast tables to chat with her “ladies” before writing the daily agenda on a giant marker board.

“I plan my activities around the residents: What do they like to do?” she said.

One way that Cason determines this, along with the residents’ intake paperwork, is by holding monthly resident council meetings where she hears feedback on subjects such as how staff members are treating residents and what the seniors want on their monthly activities calendars. The residents also vote on a special meal, which in a recent month included fried jumbo shrimp, fries, coleslaw, and strawberry shortcake and ice cream.

With the Manor being a smaller community, Cason enjoys one-on-one time with the residents. However, there are drawbacks to this dynamic. Residents who become especially attached to Cason are unlikely to attend a particular activity unless she is running it. And Cason only works Monday through Friday, which means her planned weekend activities don’t always happen.

Planned weekday activities might also fall through. In a recent month, Cason had planned for about six volunteer and performance groups to visit the Manor (including Elvis), all of whom later canceled because of illness (Elvis was rescheduled).

Scattered on Cason’s desk are cards and photos she is preparing to send to family members of recently deceased residents: evidence that in addition to what is requested and expected of this job, those little unasked-for efforts matter, too.

For the Manor’s bedrooms (all doubles) Cason recently purchased fill-in-the-blank “Getting to Know You” posters, where residents can write down preferences such as their favorite foods, favorite colors and favorite things to do in each of the four seasons.

One of the residents’ favorite fall activities is to “sit outside and eat popcorn.”


Staying active

Just a few miles away from Columbia Manor Care is Lenoir Woods Health Care Center, with a resident population of about 112 seniors and four activities professionals.

Activities Director Nancy Robertson previously served as activities coordinator on the skilled nursing floor of Boone Hospital Center. Before that, she was a church music coordinator for several years, which is how she discovered her fondness for working with older adults.

“They’re fun, they have so much wisdom, I think they’re just very neat people,” she said.

Robertson arrives around 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to update the daily schedule on the activities boards in each of Lenoir’s four “neighborhoods,” an alternative word for wings. Residents also have the monthly activities calendar taped up in their bedrooms.

Robertson usually plans the calendar several weeks in advance, incorporating new and holiday related activities into at least the following: spending time with the nursery children; BINGO three times weekly; open manicures twice weekly; Sunday services led by a different community church each week; weekend movies (recent selections: “The Italian Job” and “Herbie Rides Again”); a monthly joint birthday party with cake and punch; and a monthly shopping trip to Walgreens.

Robertson and the three other activities professionals on staff must also complete the activity assessments required by the state. These involve taking detailed attendance so that when residents come up for their quarterly and annual reviews, the staff can determine which sorts of activities will better serve them in the future.

For the quieter, more reserved residents, these might be smaller-scale activities — such as a small card game in someone’s room, or having a staff member spend one-on-one time with a resident while rubbing lotion on his or her hands.

For individuals with dementia, or cognitive losses, activities might require some fine-tuning. For example, instead of posing open-ended trivia questions, the staff might give residents a choice between ‘A’ and ‘B.’

Angela Jenkins, one of Lenoir’s three activities assistants, specializes in working with residents with cognitive losses. She said another appropriate activity is the “texture game,” wherein individuals wear blindfolds as they feel and describe various cloths and textures. The stroking motion seems to have a therapeutic effect.

Columbia Manor Care also uses sensory therapy — including aromatic and musical — for patients with cognitive loss.

Reminiscing is another form of therapy that Jenkins and Merri Chapman, another Lenoir activities professional, incorporate into the residents’ recreational time by playing the “Remember When” game:

“Remember when you were in school? — Who was your favorite teacher?” or

“Who was your first kiss?”

(“They’ll let you know if it’s too personal,” Chapman said.)

And for patients reluctant to share, or who perhaps can’t rattle off preferred activities on the spot, Chapman suggests entering into their conversations or overhearing things.

“The best thing you can do is just listen,” she said.

Requests for Internet access are common nowadays, but a few years ago, Chapman overheard a woman wishing she could “just do her own shopping.”

Now a favorite activity among Lenoir residents is the monthly trip to Walgreens.

One male resident enjoys spending entire visits in the chocolate aisle, Chapman said, and it’s nice for the female residents “just to be able to pick out their own color of fingernail polish.”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Will your nursing home survive the culture change and MDS 3.0? (part 2)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Missourian

This conceptual makeover is just one reflection of an ongoing culture change in the long-term care industry. The goal is now to promote senior independence and to ensure that elders spend their final days, months and years more meaningfully.

Improvement is vital, as baby boomers are now retiring in droves, quickly becoming our next generation of the elderly. And average U.S. life expectancy has increased — from 69.6 years in 1955, to about 78 years today, which, to put it bluntly, means more time spent being old.


Elvis has left the building

Thank you. Thank you very much. Did y’all enjoy that trip to Hawaii?” asks Richard Smith, Elvis impersonator.

On this Friday afternoon in March, he is wrapping up his Blue Hawaii set for the residents of Columbia Manor Care Center, one of the smallest senior facilities in Boone County. About 25 of its 50 or so elders, primarily women, have gathered in the living room to watch the King perform.

He is wearing pointy-toed white shoes, a royal blue scarf draped over a studded, light blue jumpsuit, and a Donald Trump-like reshuffling of his own hair.

“Now we’re gonna go back to the Vegas years,” he declares.

An instrumental version of “Don’t Be Cruel” kicks up on the sound amplifier, and Smith resumes crooning into his microphone. The next set includes lesser-known songs interspersed with crowd-pleasers such as “Return to Sender,” “Viva Las Vegas” and “Fools Rush In.”

Whoops and hollers erupt from a huddle of nursing staff wearing multicolored Crocs and cartoon-print scrubs whenever Elvis shimmies or delivers a subtle foot kick on the occasional downbeat.

“Thank you!” somebody catcalls during “Suspicious Minds” after Elvis graces the crowd with a prolonged sequence of gyrations.

The residents are more tranquil. A few women have their eyes closed, and one woman is unable to hold her head up.

But the performance reaches Judith Steffenauer, 64, who remembers owning all of Elvis’ albums and seeing all of his movies, and it delights the thin, attentive woman sitting near the front, who received a peck on the cheek from Smith during a slow song and charmingly declared after his performance that she “wasn’t gonna wash her face” that evening.

There’s a palpable letdown after the show as nurses roll wheelchairs through hallways and into bedrooms for afternoon naps, push sofa chairs back into place, and flip on the TV in the living room.

Some residents stick around to watch afternoon talk shows, and one woman takes out a crossword puzzle book.

The nursing staff return to work, kindly asking residents in the hallways if they enjoyed the performance, and one nurse observes, for whoever happens to be listening, that “Elvis has left the building.”


The ‘B’ word

I think a lot of people think fun is easy,” said Tammie Henderson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy and now works as administrator of a Brookfield senior home. “And it’s very hard to plan fun.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Will your nursing home survive the culture change and MDS 3.0?

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information about Residents' Rights Bingo

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Missourian

Maybe you hate Bing Crosby and “Wheel of Fortune,” or you’re sickened by mashed potatoes and contrived fun.

Maybe your ideal day would include the History Channel, surfing the Internet, liquor with dinner, and a healthy dose of alone time.
Or maybe you’d enjoy watching “Oprah,” eating Italian food, listening to lively music and playing late-night poker with friends.

And maybe someday, if you’re lucky enough to live to an age when you need assistance with these activities, you’ll realize your ideal day — the food, songs, pastimes, TV shows and people surrounding you — won’t have changed that much.

Or maybe it will, if you lose your appetite, can’t tolerate loud music anymore, or have trouble staying awake past a certain bedtime.

The point is this: You’re a unique individual, distinguished by particular habits, preferences, desires and abilities — even when you’re old.

Perhaps this is why the term “nursing homes” — and the sterile, depressing image it conjures — has been disappearing from our lexicon, making way for “care homes” and “communities.” The new terms emphasize a more personal, less hospital-like existence.

This conceptual makeover is just one reflection of an ongoing culture change in the long-term care industry. The goal is now to
comback soon for more on...... Will your nursing home survive the culture change and MDS 3.0?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FOOD & DINING – IDEAS FOR CHANGE

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Consumervoice.org

Breakfast made to order
Bread machines on each hall
Family style dining
Restaurant style dining with Menus
Beer and Wine Tasting Events
Soda fountain
Ice cream sundae bars
Refrigerator and cupboard rights
Coffee bar
Happy hour – with real Alcoholic beverages
No clothing protectors – cloth napkins, aprons, nothing instead!
Themed Dinners – Mexican, Italian, Carnival Food, etc.
Ban the word “Feeder”
Barbeques and Picnics
Corn shucking and Bean Snapping parties
Around the Clock or Open Dining Times
Resident Food Committees
Afternoon Tea Parties
Cookouts – hotdogs, marshmallows, S’mores
Tablecloths and Real (not plastic) dishes
Condiments on table not in packets
Dining Music or Entertainment
Comfort Food Station
Healthy Food Bar
Staff Dine with Residents
Vegetable Gardens
Fishing – cook your Catch

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Residents' Rights Bingo

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information about Residents' Rights Bingo

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here are some ideas for Residents’ Rights Bingo.

Use a write & wipe board and write a res. right on & kept it in the DR all week long.

After a regular bingo game is over, have a discussion about the residents rights. Ask the participants which right they feel is the most important that would be the right of the week. The Social Worker was involved in this every Friday to answer any questions & to lead the discussion to avoid an FTAG.

Here is more about residents rights bingo

You may be able to design your own residents rights bingo game.

I have designed several ways of playing residents' rights bingo. Leave a comment if you need more info

Friday, October 1, 2010

Residents' Rights Week 2010

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information about Residents' Rights Week

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

October 3-9, 2010, is National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Week, a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care residents have made to better our country.

This year's theme – Defining Dining: It’s About Me -, was selected to call attention to the fact that residents should have choices about food and dining; and residents should be part of decision-making in long-term care facilities.

By listening to their voices, residents will be treated with dignity and respect of their full individuality; staff and residents will enjoy relationships that enhance their day to day lives.

Many people care about residents - family members, citizen advocates, ombudsmen, facility staff, etc. This care can be truly individualized and focused on each person’s needs and preferences.

Join in celebrating and acknowledging these rights

During Residents’ Rights Week, recognize all long-term care ombudsman program staff and volunteers who work daily to promote residents’ rights, assist residents with complaints and provide information

I encourage community members to visit someone they know in a long-term care facility or volunteer in a facility. Your assistance and attention helps to ensure that the voices of long-term care residents do not go unheard and demonstrates to residents that they have not been forgotten.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

10 Great Reasons to Live in a Nursing Home

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Allvoices

•As an author and a healthcare professional at a suburban nursing home, I see first hand the many good things a nursing home has to offer. There are so many rules and regulations that have to be followed. They are inspected by the department of health at least once a year and any time there is a complaint against them. Anyone can view the results of inspections(surveys) online. Plus the latest survey results must be posted at the facility in plain sight.
Obviously some homes are better than others. Thus a family considering placement of a loved one must do their homework, and visit a number of facilities in the area. Also contacting an elder attorney, to get the finances in order, is highly recommended.
Here are the top ten nursing home niceties.
10. Of course, each resident gets custodial care 24 hours a day. As part of this, medications for each resident are reviewed in a timely fashion. And changes, in a persons' condition, are investigated.
9. The residents are provided with a bed(probably electric), dresser, mirror, chair, and night table as part of their room and board. Residents are encouraged to bring in personal items such as: a television, artwork, mementos, or family photos,
8. The facility is kept clean by a housekeeping staff, and all laundry (including personal laundry) is cleaned at no additional cost. There is a maintenance staff to make sure things work properly.
7. The food served must meet certain standards and has to be nutritionally sound. Many choices are offered to the finicky eater. Often family members can join their loved one for a meal at no additional cost.
6. Many religious services are held....more info on 10 Great Reasons to Live in a Nursing Home

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Long-term Care Residents Honored During Residents’ Rights Week, October 4-10, 2009

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information about Residents' Rights Week

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

NCCNHR

Hear Our Voice

Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities Speak Out About Residents’ Rights
Across the country, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities along with family members, ombudsmen, citizen advocates, facility staff, and others will honor the individual rights of long-term care residents by celebrating Residents’ Rights Week October 4-10, 2009. Designated by NCCNHR: The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, the week highlights the importance of listening to residents who live in our country’s nursing homes, assisted living, and board and care facilities.
"This year’s theme,
Hear Our Voice, emphasizes the fundamental rights of all long-term residents to be treated with the appropriate care they deserve and need to maintain quality of life," said Sarah F. Wells, Executive Director of NCCNHR. "Residents will be treated with dignity and respect of their full individuality; staff and residents will enjoy relationships that enhance their day to day lives; and the long-term care facility will operate more effectively with its day to day activities being based on and developed with consumer involvement when facilities care about their residents."
Many people care about residents - family members, citizen advocates, ombudsmen, facility staff, and other visitors. This care can be truly individualized and focused on each person’s needs and preferences.

In 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Law that was passed guarantees nursing home residents their individual rights, including but not limited to: individualized care, respect, dignity, the right to visitation, the right to privacy, the right to complain, and the right to make independent choices. Residents’ Rights Week raises awareness about these rights and pays tribute to the unique contributions of long-term residents.

The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has worked tirelessly for over 30 years to promote residents’ rights daily. More than 8,000 volunteers and 1,000 paid staff are advocates for residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Authorized under the Older Americans' Act and administered by the Administration on Aging, the program also provides information on how to find a facility, conducts community education sessions, and supports residents, their families and the public with one-on-one consultation regarding long-term care.

"Residents’ Rights Week is an excellent opportunity to re-affirm our collective commitment to residents’ rights and to honor long-term care residents. We strongly encourage the community to participate in Residents’ Rights Week activities and to visit residents who continue to be important to our communities and society," Wells said.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reasons why healthy eating is so important for the Seniors you serve

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Here are some reasons why healthy eating is so important for the Seniors you serve

HelpGuide.org

Say “no” to eating alone
Eating with company can be as important as vitamins. Think about it: a social atmosphere stimulates your mind and helps you enjoy meals. When you enjoy mealtimes, you’re more likely to eat better. If you live alone, eating with company will take some strategizing, but the effort will pay off.

Make a date to share lunch or dinners with grand children, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors on a rotating basis.
Join in by taking a class, volunteering, or going on an outing, all of which can lead to new friendships and dining buddies.
Adult day care centers provide both companionship and nutritious meals for seniors who are isolated and lonely, or unable to prepare their own meals. See Helpguide’s Adult Day Care Centers: A Guide to Options and Selecting the Best Center for Your Needs for more information.
Senior meal programs are a great way to meet others. Contact your local Senior Center, YMCA, congregation or high school and ask about senior meal programs.
Loss of appetite
First, check with your doctor to see if your loss of appetite could be due to medication you're taking, and whether the dosage can be adjusted or changed. Then let the experimenting begin. Try natural flavor enhancers such as olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onions, ginger, and spices.

Difficulty chewing
Make chewing easier by drinking smoothies made with fresh fruit, yogurt, and protein powder. Eat steamed veggies and soft food such as couscous, rice, and yogurt. Consult your dentist to make sure your dentures are properly fitted.

Dry mouth
Drink 8 -10 glasses of water each day. Period. Take a drink of water after each bite of food, add sauces and salsas to foods to moisten, avoid commercial mouthwash, and ask your doctor about artificial saliva products.

I don’t like healthy food
If you were raised eating lots of meat and white bread, a new way of eating might sound off-putting. Don’t beat yourself up. Eating healthfully is a new adventure. Start with small steps:

First and foremost, commit to keeping an open mind.
Try including a healthy fruit or veggie at every meal.
Focus on how you feel after eating well – this will help foster new habits and tastes.
Stuck in a rut
Rekindle inspiration by perusing produce at a farmers market, reading a cooking magazine, buying a new-to-you spice, or chatting with friends about what they eat. By making variety a priority, you’ll soon look forward to getting creative with healthy meals.

Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals to people who are homebound and/or disabled, or would otherwise be unable to maintain their dietary needs. The daily delivery generally consists of two meals: a nutritionally balanced hot meal to eat at lunch time and a dinner, consisting of a cold sandwich and milk along with varying side dishes. Generally, Meals on Wheels is available to those persons who are not able to provide for themselves, for whatever reason. Meals on Wheels: Find a Local Program is a searchable database that allows you to find a Meals on Wheels program in your area.

Senior nutrition: Tips for staying on track
Healthy eaters have their personal rules for keeping with the program. Here are some to keep in mind.

Ask for help for your health’s sake. Know when you need a hand to make shopping, cooking, and meal planning assistance.
Variety, variety, variety! Try eating and cooking something new as soon as boredom strikes.
Make every meal “do-able.” Healthy eating needn’t be a big production. Keep it simple and you’ll stick with it. Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome choices will make “do-able” even easier.
Set the mealtime mood. Set the table, light candles, play music, or eat outside or by a window when possible. Tidying yourself and your space will help you enjoy the moment.
Break habits. If you eat watching TV, try eating while reading. If you eat at the counter, curl up to a movie and a slice of veggie pizza.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why healthy eating for seniors is important (part 2)

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Here are some reasons why healthy eating is so important for the Seniors uou serve

HelpGuide.org


Senior nutrition: What your body needs
Older adults can feel better immediately and stay healthy for the future by choosing healthy foods. A balanced diet and physical activity contribute to a higher quality of life and enhanced independence as you age.

Senior food pyramid guidelines
Fruit – Focus on whole fruits rather than juices for more fiber and vitamins and aim for around 1 ½ to 2 servings each day. Break the apple and banana rut and go for color-rich pickings like berries or melons.

Veggies – Color is your credo in this category. Choose anti-oxidant rich dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli as well as oranges and yellows, such as carrots, squash, and yams. Try for 2 to 2 ½ cups of veggies every day.

Calcium – Aging bone health depends on adequate calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Seniors need 1,200 mg of calcium a day through servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese. Non-dairy sources include tofu, broccoli, almonds, and kale.

Grains – Be smart with your carbs and choose whole grains over processed white flour for more nutrients and a higher fiber count. If you’re not sure, look for pasta, breads, and cereals that list “whole” in the ingredient list. Seniors need 6-7 ounces of grains each day and one ounce is about 1 slice of bread.

Protein – Seniors need about .5 grams per pound of bodyweight. Simply divide your bodyweight in half to know how many grams you need. A 130-pound woman will need around 65 grams of protein a day. A serving of tuna, for example, has about 40 grams of protein. Vary your sources with more fish beans, peas, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, and seeds.

Important vitamin and minerals
Water – Seniors are prone to dehydration because our bodies lose some of its ability to regulate fluid levels and our sense of thirst is dulled. Post a note in your kitchen reminding you to sip water every hour and with meals to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and possibly confusion.

Vitamin B – After 50, your stomach produces less gastric acid making it difficult to absorb vitamin B-12—needed to help keep blood and nerves vital. Get the recommended daily intake (2.4 mcg) of B12 from fortified foods or a vitamin.

Vitamin D – We get most of vitamin D—essential to absorbing calcium—through sun exposure and a few foods (fatty fish, egg yolk, and fortified milk). With age, our skin is less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D, so consult your doctor about supplementing with fortified foods or a multivitamin.

Senior nutrition: Tips for wholesome eating
Once you’ve made friends with nutrient-dense food, your body will feel slow and sluggish if you eat less wholesome fare. Here’s how to get in the habit of eating well.

Reduce sodium (salt) to help prevent water retention and high blood pressure. Look for the “low sodium” label and season meals with a few grains of course sea salt instead of cooking with salt.
Enjoy good fats. Reap the rewards of olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and other monounsaturated fats. Research shows that the fat from these delicious sources protects your body against heart disease by controlling “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and raising “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Fiber up. Avoid constipation, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and feel fuller longer by increasing fiber intake. Your go-to fiber-foods are raw fruits and veggies, whole-grains, and beans.
Cook smart. The best way to prepare veggies is by steaming or sautéing in olive oil—it preserves nutrients. Forget boiling—it leeches nutrients.
Five colors. Take a tip from Japanese food culture and try to include five colors on your plate. Fruits and veggies rich in color correspond to rich nutrients (think: blackberries, melons, yams, spinach, tomato, zucchini).



Come back to activities director for more on healthy eating for seniors

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why healthy eating for seniors is important

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Here are some reasons why healthy eating is so important for the Seniors uou serve

HelpGuide.org

Food for thought: Think healthy eating is all about dieting and sacrifice? Think again. Eating well is a lifestyle that embraces colorful food, creativity in the kitchen, and eating with friends.

For seniors, the benefits of healthy eating include increased mental acuteness, resistance to illness and disease, higher energy levels, a more robust immune system, faster recuperation times, and better management of chronic health problems. As we age, eating well can also be the key to a positive outlook and staying emotionally balanced.

Senior nutrition: Feeding the body, mind and soul
Remember the old adage, you are what you eat? Make it your motto. When you choose a variety of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins you’ll feel simply marvelous inside and out.

Live longer and stronger – Good nutrition keeps muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong for the long haul. Eating vitamin-rich food boosts immunity and fights illness-causing toxins. A proper diet reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, bone loss, cancer, and anemia. Also, eating sensibly means consuming fewer calories and more nutrient dense foods, keeping weight in check.
Sharpen the mind – Scientists know that key nutrients are essential for the brain to do its job. Research shows that people who eat a selection of brightly colored fruit, leafy veggies, certain fish and nuts packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve focus and decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Feel better – Eating well is a feast for your five senses! Wholesome meals give you more energy and help you look better, resulting in a self-esteem boost. It’s all connected—when your body feels good you feel happier inside and out.



Come back to activities director for more on healthy eating for seniors

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to Celebrate Grandparents Day with Those Who Have Dementia

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Associated Content

Make This Day Special for Folks with Dementia and Children, Alike
Over 5.3 million Americans have dementia. Most of them are grandparents. Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent's day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Even though Grandparent's day is Sept 9, extend it to Grandparent's week if you are dealing with someone who has dementia. If too many grand kids visit at once, the excitement and confusion might be too much for a dementia person. Have the grandchildren visit one or two at a time. That way quality time is exchanged and the level of confusion is kept at a minimum.

Keep visits short. Discuss dementia with the children before the visit. There are many good books to assist you in helping a child to understand dementia. One such book is The Magic Tape Recorder by Joyce Simard. This is a thoughtful and well written book that explains the effects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to children in a light and entertaining way. If the youngsters are familiar with the disease, the time spent together will be more meaningful for all.

What should you do during the visit?

There are many activities that both the dementia person and children enjoy

Come back to Activities Director soon for the rest of the story

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ways to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah With All Long Term Care Residents

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Associated Content

The first activity idea incorporates apples, honey and the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana. Rosh Hashana(the Jewish New Year) is most often in September, but it depends on the Jewish calendar which has goes by the moon. Simply put, Rosh Hashana is a solemn holiday. It is a time for reflection, a time when you examine your life and make amends for all the wrongs that you may have been part of during the past year. Yom Kippur is the "day of atonement" when you ask forgiveness for all your sins of the past year. There are some traditions of these holidays that everyone can enjoy

This year Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on Wednesday September 8 and ends at sunset on Friday September 10. Yom Kippur starts on the evening of Friday, September 17, and ends at sunset on September 18.

All Jewish holidays start and end in the evening.

A tradition on Rosh Hashana is to dip apples into honey. If you do this, it is said that you will have a sweet new year. This activity is relatively easy to do. You can have a discussion about the Jewish holidays. If you have any Jewish residents, make sure to involve him/her in the planning process. They may even reveal some more easy to do traditions to you.

Also call on them often during the discussion even if they are lower functioning. You might say something like, "Bella told me she used to(a tradition she told you about or you read about) on Rosh Hashana" Bella is the low functioning resident. It will make Bella feel good.




Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Celebrating Grandparents Day

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Healthnews-stat.com

Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent’s day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Over 5.3 million Americans have dementia. Most of them are grandparents. Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent’s day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Even though Grandparent’s day is Sept 12, extend it to Grandparent’s week if you are dealing with someone who has dementia. If too many grand kids visit at once, the excitement and confusion might be too much for a dementia person. Have the grandchildren visit one or two at a time. That way quality time is exchanged and the level of confusion is kept at a minimum.

Keep visits short. Discuss dementia with the children before the visit. There are many good books to assist you in helping a child to understand dementia. One such book is The Magic Tape Recorder by Joyce Simard. This is a thoughtful and well written book that explains the effects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to children in a light and entertaining way. If the youngsters are familiar with the disease, the time spent together will be more meaningful for all.

What should you do during the visit?
There are many activities that both the dementia person and children enjoy.
*Look at family pictures and recall the stories that go with them. Of course, you would have told the child that he may hear the same story several times. If you do not have old family photos or have not organized them yet, use this book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals, by Susan Berg. It not only has cute conversation stimulating baby pictures, but activity ideas related to the photos are suggested.
*Sing familiar songs together. Patriotic songs are ideal because most people, young and old, know them. Some good songs are: America, America the Beautiful, and God Bless America
*Watch a portion of a classic musical movie. Do not try to watch too long because the dementia person or child may lose interest. Movie suggestions are: any Shirley Temple movie, Judy Garland movies including, The Wizard of Oz, and The Sound of Music.
*Have a snack or meal together. Everyone loves ice cream.
*Make an old family favorite recipe together. Then eat it
*Go for a ride. Because gasoline prices are high and attention spans are short, a short trip is best.

So this Grandparents day, September 12, include a loved one with dementia and a grandchild in a lovely experience for both.

alzheimers ideas

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Specialized center helps seniors with memory loss(part 3)

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

Staples acknowledged there are more women out there than men — women tend to outlive their partners — and that many senior men aren’t as social as women; they prefer to stay in their homes where everything is familiar, Staples said.

Alzheimer’s program director Zullo said his organization was in the process of referring to Aspen several men showing early stage memory loss who attend monthly counseling sessions at the Utah Chapter.

Cost for a full day is $58, including lunch catered by three different restaurants in the area. Or clients can pay $10 an hour, plus $9 for lunch.

“The idea is to serve the entire family by allowing family caregivers time off from the responsibilities of caring for their senior. Or, they can participate here with them,” said Staples.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Specialized center helps seniors with memory loss (part 2)

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

What Aspen hopes to provide through its approach to daytime senior care, called “unique and innovative” by officials at the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, is a solution for all her needs.

“We call Aspen a ‘transitional activity center’ where folks with early symptoms [of memory problems] can get help with cognitive activity, nutrition, exercise and social engagement,” said Nick Zullo, the Utah Chapter’s program director.

He and colleague Sylvia Brunisholz, a family services counselor, agree that Aspen’s transitional approach is in great need along the Wasatch Front.



“To our knowledge, there are only three such [daytime, transitional] centers in the Salt Lake Valley, two in the Utah County area and one in Davis County,” Brunisholz said. They act as a bridge between traditional centers where seniors go on their own to participate in various activities and centers that provide more hands-on help for moderate-to-serious memory-impaired adults.

Aspen’s owner and executive director, Gary Staples, a former software-marketing executive who has operated a home-care service — Aspen Senior Care — for the past six years, said he saw the need for a place where disabled seniors can get the daytime help they need to stay active and forestall extreme memory loss.

“Our services also are geared toward those with Parkinson’s disease, those who are wheelchair-bound and those who may be lonely and depressed,” Staples said. Socialization, he said, is key to the quality of life for such folks.

The center is licensed to care for 30 women and 15 men between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The ratio of staff-to-client is 1 to 6.

“As we grow, we will add staff as necessary to maintain that ratio,” he said. His first-year goal is to serve an average of 20 clients per weekday.

more about Specialized center helps seniors with memory loss soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why Alzheimer's isn't the end of the world

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine


Alzheimer's is one of the diseases we most dread.

But American expert John Zeisel, says there's a better – more positive – way to view it
Susanna Rustin The Guardian,
Shakespeare, says Alzheimer's expert John Zeisel, could not have been more wrong. In the famous seven ages of man speech in As You Like It he described old age as "second childishness and mere oblivion", when old people, even those in the advanced stages of dementia, are not like children at all. "They have lived through several historical eras," Zeisel writes in his new book, I'm Still Here. "They have seen technology develop, and political upheaval. Most have children and grandchildren."

Zeisel wants to change the way we view dementia, both within our families and society as a whole. He believes the media, egged on by pharmaceutical companies and fundraisers, have built up an appallingly negative view of Alzheimer's to the point where it is the illness we dread above all else. In the UK, the debate recently received a rocket boost when novelists Martin Amis and Terry Pratchett both jumped in: Pratchett, who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, argued in favour of euthanasia tribunals, while Amis suggested booths on street corners to enable a "population of demented very old people" to go quietly.

Zeisel insists the debate on assisted dying should remain separate from discussions of Alzheimer's care but his central argument, that dementia is not nearly so bad as we think, is highly relevant. "When they show someone with dementia," he says, "it's someone in the last year or two of the illness, not someone in the first 10 years. The message we get is, this is the worst possible thing that can happen to a person. This is a disease where you lose your memory, your family, yourself."

A sociologist by training, who now runs seven care homes in America and a foundation promoting access to the arts for people with dementia, Zeisel argues that an Alzheimer's diagnosis should be regarded not as a sentence but as a gift. "There are lots of cases where people have much better relationships with their parents after they got dementia," he says. "There was one woman whose mother was a very famous jazz drummer – she was always travelling all over the world – and the daughter said when she was a child she was furious. She now says she has a wonderful relationship with her mother, and all the pain of her childhood is being healed."

While cognitive skills diminish as the brain deteriorates, the possibility of emotional growth remains in the amygdala, the brain's emotional hub. For example, a woman with Alzheimer's whose frontal lobe is damaged will have difficulty with complex sequences and might put on her bra outside her clothes, "but that same woman when she sees someone in trouble, she will go and take their hand and say, 'What's wrong?'"

Much of what Zeisel says could be regarded as not beyond what a sensitive person might work out for themselves. Clearly, introducing yourself when greeting a person with Alzheimer's seems a brilliantly obvious tip: "Sit down next to her, hold her hand, look her in the eye and say, 'Hi, Mom, I'm your daughter Miriam, and I love talking to you about Oakland, where you were born.'"

We must train ourselves not to set tests ("Do you know who I am?"), which may upset those we care about, and instead offer as many cues and clues as we can. When we visit someone who has lost the knack of conversation, we can prepare ourselves to deliver a monologue by writing a list. We must learn to tell people with Alzheimer's that we love them.

It is for kind advice like this that Zeisel has won accolades from readers including John Bayley, whose wife, the writer Iris Murdoch, died of Alzheimer's in 1999 and whose celebrated memoir was made into a successful film credited with raising public awareness.


In Britain, 800,000 people have dementia and the number is likely to rise, so Zeisel is surely right that we must find better ways of being with them. But when he cheerfully offers up a radically altered mother/father/partner with Alzheimer's as "a new person whom you can embrace and enjoy", isn't he being too upbeat?

After his book came out in the US, a friend with dementia in her family told him he had not said enough about grief, and he tackles the point in a journal article he sent me after we talked. What it can't explain satisfactorily is timing: with a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer's, how do we know when it is time to give up the old ways of relating to our loved ones? Is mourning forbidden until they are dead?

He agrees that his recommendations are not for everyone. "Not everybody is up to the hard emotional work it takes to stay connected to somebody. Some people say 'I can't do this.' Some people didn't like their parents much in the first place."

Though not a Buddhist, Zeisel's self-help draws on meditation and mindfulness techniques focused on the present moment, which is where he believes the person with Alzheimer's really is. But he thinks the idea that Asian societies look after their old people better than we do in the west is a myth. "I've not seen any society that deals with dementia well," he says.

When he was growing up in Manhattan, Zeisel was used to the presence of his German-speaking grandfather, who was what was then described as senile, and later came to see this as a formative experience. "It gave me the deep knowledge that even if you couldn't speak someone's language, you could still have a profound relationship," he says. "The openness I had as a child, to people and who they were, because I didn't know any better, is an openness I am gaining again thanks to my contact with people with dementia."

Alzheimer's is one of the diseases we most dread.

Friday, August 6, 2010

First word four in a row.



Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

This is a game that loosely combines “Connect 4” and scrabble. It is easy and quick to play but is quite mind stimulating.

Start by creating a 7 square by 6 square grid similar to the amount of spaces in a “Connect 4” game.

Now print or type large letters on paper or cardboard.
Each player will get 21 letters. It is up to you to determine which letters to use. I suggest eliminating rarely used letters like q,z,x,w,b etc. Each person should have multiples of some of the vowels.

The object of the game is to be the first player to make a four letter word by placing the letters in a similar fashion as in the game, “Connect 4”.

For “Connect 4” directions come back because I will be posting those directions soon.

Also please leave any questions or ideas in the comment section

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pizza facts: A useful tool for an activity idea

Activities directors and other healthcare professionals here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easyceu or two

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities





Get your subscription to Activity Director Today's e magazine

• In 1994, total pizza sales in the United States exceeded $20 billion.¹
• The 1995 Guiness Book of World Records lists the largest baked pizza on record was 37.4 meters in diameter (12,159 sq.ft.), in Norwood, South Africa December 8th 1990. Another notable pizza by size was a 10,000 sq.ft. pizza cooked by Lorenzo Amato, owner of Cafe di Lorenzo in Tallahassee Florida in 1991.¹
• The first known pizza shop, Port 'Alba in Naples, opened in 1830 and is still open today.²
• The first pizzeria in North America was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi at 53 1/3 Spring Street in New York City.³
• The first pizza delivery was in 1889, by Raffaele Esposito owner of the famous pizzeria Pietro il Pizzaiolo (Naples). The recipients were visiting King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. Refusing to go to the likes of a pizzeria, the queen ordered in, being anxious to try this food she heard so much about.²
• The first commercial pizza-pie mix was "Roman Pizza Mix", produced in 1948 in Worcester, Massachusetts by Frank A. Fiorello.¹
• The mozzarella originally used in Italy for pizza, was made from the milk of the water buffalo.²
• The tomato arrived in Naples, Italy around 1522 originating from seeds first arriving in Spain from Peru. Initially grown only as an ornamental plant, the 'golden apple', so called because they were small and yellow, were thought to be poisonous until around 1750, when it began to be used in cooking.³
• The origins of focaccia, one of the oldest styles of pizza (without the tomato) can be traced back to about 1000 B.C.E., when the Etruscans arrived in northern and central parts of Italy from Asia Minor.³
• Pizza is the number 2 entree in foodservice, outpacing the growth rate of all other food items. It represents more than 10% of all food sales and is expected to exceed the hamburger 1996.4
• Tuna is one of the most popular toppings in Europe.4
• North Americans eat more pizza than anyone else in the world, yet most are acquainted with little beyond the basic tomato and cheese style.³
• There are three major regional styles of pizza in the US. In the East, pizza is the traditional Neapolitan type with a light, thin crust, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a vegetable or meat topping. It is more commonly known as New York-style. On the West Coast, pizza takes on a sophisticated look. Individual pizzettes with light, chewy crusts and toppings ranging from sundried tomatoes to asparagus to boccocini cheese are the norm. The Midwestern states prefer the deep-dish Chicago style, a thick creation heaped with toppings requiring up to 45 minutes to bake.³
• Cookbooks specializing in Italian recipes have no reference to pizza prior to the 1950's.¹
• In non-Italian communities in the eastern states, pizza can be heard to be referred to as "tomato pie".¹