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Sunday, May 15, 2016
A creative activity for those with dementia
Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals,
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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
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Engaging in creative endeavors is vital for long term care residents. It is an important
way to keep them thinking. It keeps their minds working and raises self esteem.
One such activity that easily encourages creativity, I call, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
This is an easy activity to do as long as you have the right picture for participants to describe and the right frame of mind to facilitate the discussion of the picture. As with any activity you need to adapt and modify it so that it is success oriented and failure free.
Use a picture that is colorful with large, easy to describe items, that interests your audience.
Baby photographs are one type of picture that seems to have universal appeal for nursing home residents especially those with dementia. an ideal book and flash cards Adorable Photographs of Our Baby
You act as the facilitator in some cases. Be ready to help the participants with discussion questions
Before you show the person(s) the picture, tell them you are going to help them write a
story about a picture because you know they are smart and have good ideas.
Now you are ready to show the picture(s) to the members of the group. As you ask the
questions, make sure you show the picture to the participant(s) that you are directing
the questions to. You or someone in the group can be the eyes for visually impaired
participants. However, you will see that the discussion may take on a life of its own
where the picture may not even be needed. Think of the picture as a story starter
You might begin with the question, “Do you like this picture?”
If the majority of the audience says, “No”, use a different one. It is important to have at
least two pictures available in case this happens.
Now that you have a picture most group members like, you want to ask a series of
questions about it.
As you ask the questions about the picture, note any remarkable responses. That is,
statements about the picture that will make the story interesting. Remember to assist
members of the audience with answers to questions by providing the help they may
For example, if they are having trouble deciding what season is shown in the picture,
talk about the seasons of the year, by asking them to name the seasons. If they are
having trouble, give them a choice of two. If there is still some confusion, say that the
baby and the lady are wearing swimsuits. Ask about the season that swimsuits are
worn in etc.
Understand that you can ask any question that you want to, which will help facilitate the
You may have to give two choices for an answer to a question if you do not get any
response from an open ended question. An example to the question, “How is he
feeling”, might be: “Is he happy or sad?” If you still don’t get a response, then say, “I
think he is happy because he is smiling. Do you agree (say the participant’s name)?”
Then you might extend the thought by asking about the baby’s face. There is a good
chance a participant may say that the baby is smiling. You could ask what kind of smile
he has etc... You can include these facts in the story when you write it.
Emphasize that there are really no right or wrong answers to any of the questions. Tell
them that it is just what they think the answer is. Again stress that you know how smart
and creative everyone is.
Thus this is a good creative outlet for long term care residents even if they have
You may want to have the group members suggest an opening line to the story such
as: “Once upon a time”, “One sunny day”, “A few days ago” or whatever works.
After you have compiled all the answers to the questions, write a simple story about the
picture using all or some of the answers given.
Then, later on, show the picture and read the story perhaps noting some great remarks
of those that participated. Of course, be complimentary. You may want to post the story
or create a short story book. Sometimes I share ideas that were expressed in this
group to family members.
Adorable Photographs of Our Baby, flash cards, are ideal for this activity
As with any activity, a sure way to guarantee success is for you or the group leader to be
animated and excited about doing the activity. Praising the participants for their efforts is
key to a positive outcome as well