Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alzheimer's therapy aims to improve quality of life

As an Activities Director, other healthcare professional or caregiver of someone with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia, this article may be of interest to you

By KAREN LOVETT, Staff Writer

NASHUA – Anita Hinkle spoke softly into the ear of the woman, who was curled in a chair.

"Come siete?" Hinkle whispered in Italian. How are you?

Then, in English, "You look beautiful today."

Virginia Lorah didn't budge. Her 70-pound frame kept coiled. Her eyes stayed squeezed. She gripped her shins, slender as fence posts.

No response.

Hinkle smiled, unfazed by the silence. After all, she hadn't held a real conversation with Lorah in about three years, even though the 98-year-old woman is her mother.

Some 12 years ago, Lorah was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Slowly, the progressive brain disease robbed her of the ability to remember almost anything.

The last time the pair carried on a conversation, three years ago, Lorah's scattered memories had taken root in her teenage years.

Every so often, she would blurt about Bristol, Pa., the Philadelphia suburb where Lorah grew up in the early 1900s.

She'd ask about the whereabouts of her long-deceased father, a first-generation Italian-American who helped other immigrants with their naturalization paperwork. Hinkle would try to explain.

" 'They've gone to heaven,' " she would tell her mother. " 'They're waiting for you.' She'd say, 'Oh, no. No, no no.' "

Now, Lorah cannot......read the whole article

click here for some activity ideas

At this site get useful dementia information and activity ideas

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mural provides soothing escape for long-term residents

Here is an idea for Activities directors,long term care staff of those with and without dementia, and caregivers
The Record


A forest and rolling landscape has sprouted at a Kitchener long-term care home, providing a soothing escape for residents with dementia who felt trapped behind a door that was secured for their safety.

The exit is now hidden behind the brush strokes of a local artist, and a whole new world has opened at The Westmount. Final touches were being put on the mural -- stretching 40 feet and from floor to ceiling -- just in time for Christmas.

The door was distressing to some first-floor residents, who have memory loss and forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, and are prone to wandering and looking for ways out.

"The residents become a little anxious and agitated by that because they can't get through the doors," said Amie Wilker, resident support services manager.

That's tough on staff and family too.

"It's heartbreaking to exit and hear them behind you at the door," Wilker said. "Families always had a hard time with that."

She knew a mural would......read the whole article

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To learn about more outstanding dementia ideas, click here

Monday, December 22, 2008

Aromatherapy and the 4 "A's" of Alzheimer's

You as an Activities Director, other healthcare professional, or caregiver will find this post most informative
Alzheimer's and Dementia Weekly

There are many ways to care for people who are struggling with the "4 A's of Alzheimer's" – anxiety, aggression, agitation and apathy – but one of the most interesting and non-invasive is through the use of essential oils, known as aromatherapy.

Good Science

Two studies examined the efficacy of aromatherapy in decreasing agitated behavior in older adults with severe Alzheimer’s. In the first study, a two percent lavender oil aroma mist was streamed into a ward for a two-hour period every other day for a total of ten treatments. On alternate days, water was used for the sake of comparison. The majority of residents, a full 60%, showed a modest improvement in agitated behavior while 33% showed no change, indicating that it noticeably helped most patients with virtually no adverse effects.

The second study explored the effect of direct application of Melissa essential oil, also known as lemon balm. Its effect on the agitated behavior of those with severe dementia was compared to that of sunflower oil (as a placebo). The oils were combined with a base lotion and applied to the participants' faces and arms twice a day over a four-week period. The results revealed a....read the whole article

Click here for more ways to engage a person with dementia

For outstanding Alzheimer's and relatrd dementia activities, click here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dementia and Alzheimer's Caregivers Make the Holidays Wonderful

You as an Activities Director, other healthcare professional, or caregiver should find this article of interest
The holidays are expected to be a bright and cheerful time, filled with family and friends. For those caring for another it can be a time filled with stress, disappointment, frustration and sadness. For individuals who have been experiencing MCI, Dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may feel even greater distress and a deeper sense of loss. This is caused by the changes he or she has experienced. Caregivers far too often are overwhelmed. Family may want too much from the Senior and the caregiver as well. For the Caregiver, they can end up feeling pulled in many directions at the same time. They may want to participate in the holiday hub bub, and spend long periods of time with the other family members or have them to the house. This can be overwhelming physically, emotionally, and financially. Caregivers may be concerned about how.....read the whole article

For more dementia information, click here

For Alzheimer's and related dementia activity ideas, click here

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Activities for Someone With Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias

I thought you as an Activities Director, other healthcare profwssional or caregiver might fing this of interest from:
People with Alzheimer's or other dementias ultimately become unable to plan their time.. They need others to plan and lead meaningful activities for them. Staying engaged boosts their self-esteem and enjoyment, and it adds stimulation and structure to the day. Activities need not be special events -- many everyday chores and hobbies work perfectly.....Read it all

For gppd information on dementia activities, click here

Here is a place to learn about activities for those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias

Friday, December 19, 2008


You as an Activities Director, other healthcare professional or caregiver will want to read this
Neurology Reviews.com


SAN DIEGO—Participating in recreational activities in midlife appears to offer protection from neurodegeneration, according to Robert P. Friedland, MD, and colleagues. "People who were less active were more than three times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease as compared to those who were more active," said Dr. Friedland, Associate Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Radiology. He and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland studied the association between physical and mental activities in adulthood and the development of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Friedland presented the results of the study at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.


During the study, information about participation in leisure activities was collected from a population of patients with Alzheimer's disease (n = 193) and from controls (n = 358). Questions about participation in 26 passive, intellectual, and physical activities (see table) were included on the questionnaire. The study participants were asked which activities they had participated in and for how long each month they had participated in these activities during their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Data on participation after age 60 or during the five-year period prior to disease onset (whichever was first) was not sought because......read the whole article

Award winning dementia blog, click here

Alzheimer's activity ideas, click here

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Activity ideas for those with dementia, revisited

Here is something I found fron the Alzheimer's Association that you, as an Activities Director, other healthcare professional or caregiver, will find helpful
Alzheimer's Association
time. Activities also can enhance a person's sense of dignity and self-esteem by giving purpose and meaning to his or her life.

Planning activities should focus on the:





Focus on the person
Activities should be appropriate to the person and reflect his or her interests.

Keep the person's skills and abilities in mind

Pay special attention to what the person enjoys

Consider if the person begins activities without direction

Be aware of physical problems

Choosing an activity....read the whole thing

For hokiday activities for those with dementia, click here

For even more holiday activity ideas, click here

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas tips for those dealing with people who have dementia

Contributed by: Casaundra Machado

For most families, the holidays are filled with opportunities for togetherness, sharing laughter and memories. For people caring for the 65,000 Coloradoans with Alzheimer's disease, the holidays can also be filled with stress, disappointment and sadness. Because of the changes caused by Alzheimer's, families as well as the person with the disease may feel a special sense of loss during the holidays. Caregivers may also feel overwhelmed by trying to maintain holiday traditions while providing care. In addition, there may be some hesitation about inviting family and friends over to share the holiday for fear they will be uncomfortable with the changes they see in the person with the disease.

Here are some suggestions......read the whole article

For more ideas, click here

For some unique activity ideas, click here

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Activities directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers. Here is yet another reason to keep your senior loved one or clients mentally active even if they already have dementia
American Geriatrics Society
Erin Weller
Too much mindless recreation may actually cause more harm than good.
Recent studies show that seniors who indicated a history of watching a lot of television during their middle-aged years often have high incidences of low cognitive ability in their elder years. In fact, low cognitive ability, sometimes referred to as mild cognitive impairment (MCI), is often a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Joseph Verghese, M.D., a member of the American Geriatrics Society, the problem is not television itself, but the lack of stimulation to the brain. People engaged in more mentally stimulating activities seem to have...read the whole thing

For some great holoday ideas, click here

For even more ideas, click here

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas tree safe for patients with Alzheimer's

You, as an activities director, other healthcare professional or caregiver will be interested in this story about decorating a Christmas tree that is safe for most with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia
Calgary Herald
Canwest News Service
Alice Jones's home is decorated with a special Christmas tree that glitters with everything edible.

Tinsel has been replaced with popcorn strings and Cheerios chains. Gingerbread men and sugary santas have taken the places of wooden soldiers.

The old-fashioned tree was the idea of the staff at the McConnell Place north Alzheimer Care Centre in Edmonton.

It's a way to.....read the whole article

For other holiday ideas
go here
or here

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nature nurture the new tool in dementia care

Activities directors and other healthcare professionalssometimes we can learn from our friend in Australia
Sarah Bieske
St Laurence launched the aged care facility at Costa House Residential Aged Care, which will support the elderly who need specialised residential and nursing care, including dementia, and are no longer able to live independently.

The Care Farm has various animals, which the residents will care for and feed on a daily basis under the supervision of staff and volunteers, as well as vegetable and herb gardens, fruit groves and a shed with tools and equipment needed for the daily running of the small farm.

The activities will provide residents.....read the whole story

click here for mote activity information

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Help those with dementia dream of an"old fashioned" Christmas

Activities Directors, other healthcare professionals and caregivers help those with dementia dream of an"old fashioned" Christmas by showing some old favorite Christmas movies. Watching these movies will make you and them feel good.
Read this blog post for the titles and other information
clisk here for some more valuable information about dementia

Monday, December 8, 2008

Therapeutic Activities Are Vital For the Elderly

Here is an article about activities that might be of interest to you
By Steven Whateley
The Alzheimer's Society's Home from Home report says that "people with dementia spend an average of two minutes in every six hours interacting with other people." The solution's simple, says care instructor Gill Kearsley.

Every day, throughout Britain, elderly residents in care homes are waking, or being woken, to face a day of boredom and loneliness. If they, as is common in care homes, are suffering from a dementia, then their day may also be full of confusion, anxiety, fear and an overwhelming sense of failure. They may be kept clean and well fed, their rooms may be tidied and their beds made. They may be physically cared for, but the truth is that emotional...read the whole article

click here for more activities for thos with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Therapeutic Activities Slow Dementia

By Rick Nauert, Ph.D.
Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
(Psych Central) -- A new study suggests those diagnosed with early stage dementia can slow their physical, mental and psychological decline by taking part in therapeutic programs that combine counseling, support groups, Chinese exercise and meditation. Some of the benefits of this approach are comparable to those achieved with anti-dementia medications.

“Most of the research on dementia and most of the dollars up until this point have gone into pharmacological interventions,” said Sandy Burgener, a professor of nursing at the University of Illinois and lead author on the study.

“But we have evidence now from studies like mine that show that other approaches can make a difference in the way people live and can possibly also impact their cognitive function.”

In the study, 24 people with early stage dementia participated in an intensive 40-week program. The intervention included biweekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups, along with three sessions per week of traditional Chinese martial arts exercises and meditation, called qigong (chee-gong) and Taiji (tye-jee).

A comparison group of people with early stage dementia did not participate in these programs for the first 20 weeks of the intervention.

Researchers are discovering that multidiscliplinary approaches – those that address patients’ physical, mental and psychological dimensions – show the most promise in treating people with dementia, Burgener said.

“There’s a lot of support for multi-modal therapies for persons with dementia, especially those with early stage dementia,” she said.

“Not only can we help people have....read the whole article

click here for more information about activities and dementia

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Activity Professional Certfications

by Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care
Are You Certified? It is recommended that all activity professionals are certified as a Certified Activity Assistant (AAC) or Certified Activity Director (ADC). The process is easier than you think. Certification is through the www.nccap.org National Certification Council of Activity Professionals. There are several tracks to follow and you.....read the whole newsletter
Invest in yourself
click here for dementia activity ideas

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another way to engage demenia folks

You as an activities director, other healthcare professional, or caregiver should read this
New York Times
IN a colorfully decorated room on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a half-dozen bright minds were engaged in a Montessori exercise called category-sorting. The categories were “dessert” and “non-dessert.” Pheona Yaw, who led the exercise, held up yellow cards with words on them.
“Carrots,” she said, reading from the first rectangular card. “Dessert or non-dessert?”

That was an easy one, the group agreed. “Not dessert,” they said. Ms. Yaw placed the card over a rectangular outline on the non-dessert side of the board.

She moved on.

“Strawberry shortcake,” she said, holding up the next card. “Dessert?”

“No, that’s not a dessert at all,” said Holly Kromer-Sharpe, decisively. Others disagreed. Ms. Yaw put the card aside and moved on to pizza, on which there was agreement: pizza was not a dessert. Then she returned to strawberry shortcake.

“Dessert or non-dessert?” she asked.

Holly Kromer-Sharpe again spoke first. “I think that’s a dessert, yeah,” she said, just as firmly, as if the question itself were an affront. “What’re you trying to do, anyway?”

In a typical Montessori....read the whole article

click here for more info

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Anothet great dementia activity

As an activities director, other healthcare professional, or caregiver, you might be interested in thisAlzheimer's Activities Expert
We are going to digress for this activity using large colorful pictures of babies doing different things.

This is another ideal activity to be done with the flash cards, “Adorable Photographs of Our Baby”

Before the actual beginning of the game, it is probably best to......read the whole post

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New alzheimers treatment pioneered

As an Activities Director, other healthcare professional, or family member, you might br interested in this

Manchester Evening News
Rachel Hoyes

A REVOLUTIONARY low-stress method in caring for Alzheimer's and other dementia patients is being pioneered in a Bury nursing home.

Carers are trained to allow patients to re-experience their long-term memories as they please, giving them more freedom and minimal reliance on medication.

Staff at Gorsey Clough in Tottington, the first care home in the north west to adopt the method, will work closely with individual patients and their relatives to find out about their lives before they had dementia, allowing them to understand the memories they are re-living.

Eric Dalton, 81, whose wife Vera, 85, is an Alzheimer's patient at Gorsey Clough, said: "The new method lets patients be as they want to be. That's how I've always treated Vera - I go along with her world. The sooner you accept that the betterAt Gorsey Clough patients are allowed a tremendous amount of freedom and can do what they like."

Collette Conway, Home Manager at Gorsey Clough which has 18 residents with dementia, said: "Normally Alzheimer's sufferers are oriented in what is happening now, but instead of this the carers try to get into their worlds - the person with dementia is never treated as wrong.

"Many dementia sufferers follow their own 'missions'. For example, one lady may decide she wants to wear her coat inside all day. Many care......read the whole story

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Strategies For Having An Enjoyable Christmas With Those Who Have Dementia

Activities Directors, other healthcare professionals, and caregivers:
Learn what activities and gifts will make those with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia smile this holiday season. These activities and gifts ensure you and your loved one or client a delightful Christmas, this year

PRLog (Press Release) – Dec 02, 2008 – Over 5.2 million people in the US now have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. We all benefit from sharing Christmas with someone we care about. The smells, the sounds, and the sights bring back happy memories. People with dementia should have this opportunity too. Following these tips will ensure you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia a pleasurable holiday season. Use these tips to help you choose a gift they will enjoy now and in days and months to come.
The gift of yourself is one of the best gifts you can give so do things together.

One thing you can do .....read the whole article

Monday, December 1, 2008

Susan Berg's book on dementia now available

You as an Activities Director should know that Susan Berg, Certified Dementia Practitioner and author, announces that her book, is now available at Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care. Learn about this premiere website and Susan Berg
Susan Berg, Certified Dementia Practitioner and author, announces that her book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby Meaningful Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals is now available at Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care http://www.activitytherapy.com/store/books.html (Go to the bottom of the page)
Susan Berg, is a seasoned dementia healthcare professional. She has much experience engaging those with dementia in meaningful activities. She shares some of these.....read the whole story

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Best ways to adapt a late stage dementia activity

As an Activities Director, interested staff member, or dementia caregiver this post and blog might be a place for you to visit everyday
Alzheimer's Activities Expert
By engaging those with late stage Alzheimer’s disease or other late stage dementias, is a bit more challenging. However it is critical. One thing you must remember reactions to an activity are subtle. You might see a smile on someone’s face. He/she might try to hold your hand or try to verbalize.Please watch closely for responses.By far the best type of activities focus on the........
read the whole post

Friday, November 28, 2008

Writely Applied at Thanksgiving(dementia information blog)

This blog might be of interest to you as an Activities Director Today.com
I have to compliment Dr. Susan Berg at Dementia Today. She has been running a couple of post series at her site dedicated to dementia. The first was Top ways to enjoy Thanksgiving with those who have dementia (ten parts). The second has been Creativity and dementia which has covered a wide range of creative ideas to share with those close to you who suffer from dementia. This is such an important time for families and in many instances a difficult time to celebrate with those suffering from dementia. I want to bring Dr. Susan' Berg's work into the creative spotlight since her dedication to the topic of dementia should be commended. I hope all enjoy their time with friends and family this Thanksgiving, especially those dedicating a special amount of time to those in need. ........read the full article

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Best of the best in long term care

We should strive for excellence

London House Care Center, Sonoma, Calif.
Winning entry submitted by Louise Merrick, CA, NHA, former administrator and Benjamin Larkey, JD, NHA current administrator
Editors note: Simple yet powerful, the judges felt London House Care Center's entry captured the essence of a winning team while exemplifying the six key criteria: initiative, adaptability, teamwork, innovative programming, recruitment/retention and knowledge.
Members of our long-term care team do not wait to be asked to perform a task; they just go out and do it. For example, our housekeeping supervisor answers call lights routinely and our admissions director can be seen making discharge arrangements when the social worker is out. Our business office manager patrols the dining rooms routinely and our social worker, of course, does the job of everyone else.
All members of our management team are adaptable and can function as an effective group, no matter who the leader is. We have no less than six members of our management team who can do admissions. Our medical records department takes on additional tasks without batting an eye. Our CNAs help with activities routinely and our housekeepers have been known to cook breakfast.
We are like a family.....read the whole article

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dancing away memory blues

Activities directors and caregivers, here is a little tidbit I thought you might be interested in

Enriching lives of persons with memory challenges.

By "memory blues" we include all sorts of memory challenges whether they are called "Alzheimer's" or some other related dementia or acquired brain injury. Others can worry about clinical niceties while here we focus on managing these challenges and enjoying life.By "dancing away" we include all sorts of activities which enrich lives of persons with these challenges.
.....read the whole thing

Monday, November 24, 2008

Activities with Adult Dementia Clients

Alzheimer's Disease Resource Agency of Alaska
1750 Abbott Road, Anchorage AK 99507 (907) 561-3313 or toll-free within Alaska
Here some activities recommended bt the Alask Alzheimer's Association
GENERAL GUIDELINES• Avoiding "Empty Day Syndrome" helps behavior, "Sundowning," wandering• Select and modify activities according to client's ability level• Give both visual and verbal instruction (model the activity; explain slowly)• Tactile and muscular feedback work even better (manipulate client's limbs gently)• Use immediately pleasurable activities• Simplify or break activity into smaller..............read the whole thing

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Helping Alzheimer's Patients with Meaningful Activities

Here is an interesting article, I ran into
Associated Content

By Sandra Webber,

Keep it Simple, Establish a Routine, and Consider Individual Interests
Often family, friends and caregivers of Alzheimer’s sufferers need help in choosing and involving patients in activities that can improve both the patient and the caregiver’s quality of life. Research shows activities structured individually to each person’s past interests can greatly reduce stress and improve the quality of life for family and caregivers. Frustration, agitation, depression and anger are some of the most bothersome symptoms exhibited by patients. Wandering, a common behavior in mid-stage and advanced Alzheimer’s also can be minimized by involvement in meaningful activities. Having a steady routine will also instill a sense of stability. In addition to the need for structure, routine and individualized activities, patients also need “no-fail” activities. Because of the loss of cognitive abilities failure becomes a too often occurrence in the patient’s everyday life. “No fail” activities boost self-esteem and give a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Activities will be most successful when.......read the whole article

Friday, November 21, 2008

A cute video in favor of activities

Activities directors and others who are interested, click below to see and share a video that shows the benefit of activities especially for those who are in rehab

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Diversional Therapy Activities

Here is some information that may interest you as an Activities Director
from Golden Carers

Activities for people with Dementia Finding meaningful activities for people with dementia can be a very challenging task. It will always depend upon the stage of the illness they have reached. The most important thing to remember is that activities should be related to the person's former life-style. The person's hobbies and travel experiences, family dynamics, social preferences, spiritual and cultural differences. It is also important to have regular assessment regarding strengths and limitations in the area of daily living. As this varies from person to person it is suggested that a 'Social & Spiritual' care plan be written for each individual. Below are some activities you may like to try.
read the whole thing

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Activities for Dementia Patients

Here is an interesting post on Websphere about activities for those with dementia. Some of it is a repeat of the same old stuff, but there are a few good ideas

I believe activities are crucial to well-being. In the past ten years, research has shown that activities play a large part in preventing the progression of dementia. We also know that socializing prevents loneliness, despair and suicidal thoughts.
For several years I led recreational activities on weekends at a geri-psych hospital. The activities that took place on any particular weekend greatly depended on the patients in the unit at that time. All of the patients there had dementia and behavior disorders that precluded their being able to remain at home until the behavior had been extinguished. Most patients were on the unit between three to four weeks, while the doctors changed their drugs or the dosages. Some were more alert; others were more physically functional. Some returned home; others returned to a nursing home or entered a long-term care facility for the first time after discharge.
There are many activities that are appropriate for people with dementia. The only guideline is to not degrade them by having them do children’s activities. Instead, show your respect by engaging them in pastimes that are similar to children’s activities but suitable for an adult, retaining whatever qualities that make the activity fun. Here are some suggestions for caregivers who have a dementia patient at home....READ THE WHOLE POST

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Activity Fact Sheet for Those wuth Dementia

North West Dementia Center

Activities are important to all of us. Everyon has an built in need to participate in activities. What we do makes us who we are. People with dementia are no exception. But dementia effects the ability to "do".....read the whole fact sheet

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meaningful Activities in Dementia Care

The Aged Care

Activities are everything we do in our lives – from when we get up in the
morning until we go to bed at night. Even sleeping is an important
Activities of life include:
• occupation or role (this may be paid or unpaid)
• leisure – sport, hobbies, relaxation
• self-care – hygiene, personal care.
Balance is important
It is really important to get the balance between work, leisure and selfcare
Different lives
Different people see different activities belonging to different parts of life..
For example cooking is for some people a leisure activity while for other
people it is work.
Consider this…
How would you feel if you:
• lost your job?
• had a disability that prevented you from participating in your favourite
leisure pastime?
• were unable to take a shower?
• or…all three?
How does activity
affect us?
We take for granted our ability to perform many and varied activities. But
imagine having those activities taken away from you - your life would be
very different and very difficult at times! Your sense of self-esteem would
be affected too.
Work Leisure Self-care
read and download this handy guide

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Person Centered Dementia Activities

If you read yesterday's post, you know it discussed Montessori activities for those with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Montessori activities are amazingly similar to "Person Centered Activities"

Read this by Joanne Kadley

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Do you give your residents sugary drinks?

I am very health concious so I take extra care in provoding my residents with wholesome good tasting snacks.I know some residents like sugary snacks. However sugary snacks even though they may taste good are just empty calories and do not provide any nutritional value

click here for information on a study about sugart drinks and dementia

Monday, November 10, 2008

10 "Boredom Busters" for Frail Seniors

Whar do you think of this posted by Kate Rauch, Caring.com senior editor
Awhile back, I used to make weekly visits to a friend in a nursing home. Her home was the basic “Medicaid Package” (many of the residents were low-income), not a horrible place, but simple, without frills like field-trips or a gym.
I'll always remember the image of rows of residents in wheelchairs lining the halls. Some were asleep, others staring into space. A few would smile as I walked by, reaching a hand up for a squeeze. So this is old age, I thought: sitting. I’d be lying if I didn’t say this gave me the creeps.
read the whole post

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The benefit of reminiscing with those who have dementia

The Benevolent Society, Reminiscing Manual version 1,
ABN 95 084 045

Here is an excerpt
The benefits of reminiscing
Someone with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia may only give you a small piece of themselves – all there is, and enough, at that moment. That small piece is precious and may become a strand or thread woven into your life as well. The fragments may,like the creation of a mosaic, gradually be pieced together and something new is created

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Intergenerational activities for those with Alzheimer's

Here is an interesting post about those with Alzheimer's,related dementias and kids, you might be interested in

Alzheimers Disease Revealed
It’s tough enough for kids to realize exactly what Alzheimer’s is, and what it does, and it’s even harder for them to stay involved with whomever it is that is afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Still, there are several activities out there that both kids and the Alzheimer’s patient can enjoy.

First of all, you must know what to look for in an activity. There are a few things each activity should include. To start with, they should compensate for any abilities that the person with Alzheimer’s may have lost. Second, any activity that is created must .....read the whole post

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ideas for getting something for your nursing home

amany ideas were suggested. One of them was offering a free product or service to a nursing home.
To read more, click here

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A great activity:Preschoolers visiting your nursing home

Written by Nicola Kennedy

As with most holidays, school will use Grandparents Day as a special activity for the class. This can be especially true of preschool, where there is as much focus on social activity and every day life as there is on learning the functionalities of reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, with so many different holidays to plan activities and crafts for, you may be out of ideas for Grandparents Day. Have no fear; there is always something new and different to try.If your preschool has a high level of parental involvement, you may have your preschoolers create family trees. While these don’t have to be long and detailed, they can trace the immediate family and the grandparents. It can also be made creative, actually drawing a tree with branches that reach to each family member..

Monday, October 27, 2008

Congratulations on activities and other aspects of long term care

Read about these staff members who bring excellence to their nursing home
Team challenge and reward
Health care team meets goal, receives national award in Nashville
By Valerie Cranston
Special to the Current-Argus
A team of six health care employees made a commitment to continuous improvement for the residents of the nursing home where they worked. Now their facility, Lakeview Christian Home, has been recognized with a national award.
Jody Knox, Lakeview chief executive officer, told the team that if they worked hard on the award application and won, she would take them all to Nashville to accept the award. That's just what happened earlier this month.
Lakeview was the recipient of the Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and the National Center For Assisted Living, for demonstrating a strong commitment to continuous quality improvement.
"Lakeview is fortunate to have many long-term employees who work very hard every day to make our residents' lives better. Their dedicated commitment to quality care is awesome, and what they do routinely has...read the whole story
and a comment

Friday, October 24, 2008

Comment wherever you can to get nursing home activity volunteers

I just ran across this blog. I am hoping that the author will help me gain insight into getting a larger volunteer force for my Activities Department.
Do you have any ideas you would like to share?
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Helping Out(Volunteers from Duluth)

Duluth News Tribune
* Friendly visitors: Spend time with people in nursing homes, assisted living or individual home settings. Read the paper, talk about current events, go for a walk, share a craft or a cup of coffee. Orientation and training provided. For an application and more information....read
the whole article

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The gift of music for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias

Chonicle Herald
Kate brings joy to people like Wayne, men and women with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias living at The Birches, a Musquodoboit Harbour nursing home. Two days a week, in one-on-one sessions, the Lawrencetown guitar and voice teacher plays memorable music for residents at the nursing home.
Intervention Through Music is a new program at The Birches, piloted for about......read the whole article

Stories like this are ever present because music is a pwerful tool in soothing those with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Unlocking the past for seniors with dementia

Here is a story about an Activities Director and what she does for her clients with dementia
"Even though Janet has middle-stage Alzheimer's Disease, she can still remember how it feels to celebrate something that meant so much to her," Gaston said. Her approach is called person-centered care and its main principle is finding what an individual likes and tailoring the relationship around those trademarks.

For example, if a person loves the symphony, a caregiver could make their day by playing classical music and talking about his or her favorite composers. Or, if he or she was an editor, passing along a research paper to proof read might remind them of a time they fondly remember. Undoubtedly, those who have impaired memories can still continue to have passions, especially through the encouragement of those around them.

Retro thinking
Yesterday's medical model of care by....read the whole article

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thank you Activities Directors and other readers for making Alzheimer’s Disease: Early Detection Matters #1!

Because of the support of Activities Directors, other readers of this blog and a whole host of concerned individuals, the Alzheimer's Association has earned first place in the American Express Members Project.

The Alzheimer's Asociation will get 1.5 million dollars to begin an education campaign highlighting the importance of early detection among physicians and the general public. This is a positive step toward helping those who go undiagnosed for many years, losing valuable time that could be spent planning for the future and starting treatment.
click here for the whole story
Become an Alzheimer's Advocate

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A link to great sayings you can use with dementia residents

Completing famous sayings is a fun activity for residents with Alzheimer's, another dementia, or other long term care residents
Here is a link to a long list of sayings. LINK See how many your residents can complete

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Volunteers are important

If you live in the Tampa, Florida area, make sure to check out this article.
Making the World a Better Place

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do you want information and activity ideas about Sukkot?

The Jewish holiday of Sukkot has begun. It started last night. It is a lovely holiday.
Click here if you would like to see some activity ideas

Monday, October 13, 2008

October activity ideas

Activities Directors, caregivers, and others resposible for activities
Residents' Rights Week is over. I hope you and your residents had an enjoyable week.

Now it is time to move on to other October activity endeavors

Next on the agenda is Columbus Day. I did not see to many activities on the web so I designed some I think you will enjoy.

First read this article about Columbus Day by clicking here

Then you can go to here to learn about a game for those with dementia, about Columbus Day. Also included are other October activities

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Want volunteers visiting your nursing home?

Saturday, Oct. 25, marks the 18th annual Make a Difference Day, a national event sponsored by USA Weekend magazine.

Millions of Americans are expected to take part by volunteering for a host of activities to enrich their neighborhoods and communities.

Whether by knitting sweaters for the poor, entertaining nursing-home patients..

Contact your local paper or city hall to let them know that your facility would like volunteers to visit your residents

click here to read the whole story

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Post a comment and get a volunteer

As an Activities Director, do you routinely search the web for possible volunteer for your long term care facility. I did and am hopeful that a volunteer with her dog will be coming soon.

Click here

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good ways to engage dementia folks in poetry

Even though these ideas were written for children, using these ideas will help engage those with dementia in poetry reading and writing. Poetry is an excellent creative outlet for many folks with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
Click here for the link

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Do you recruit volunteers for activities?

Auburn Reporter.com
Friend to Friend: Volunteers needed to visit adults in nursing homes, assisted living and retirement homes throughout King and Snohomish counties. Volunteers commit to visit about twice a month for one year. 206-246-5150.
more info in paper

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dementia and Residents' Rights Week

Many people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are long term care residents. If you know someone living in a nursing home or assisted living facility make sure you visit them this week(October5-11).

I am sure he/she contributed much to your community. Join the staff and other family members in honoring all the residents.

For an article about this click here

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How are you celebrating Residents' Rights Week?

Hopefully all activities directors throughout the country will be showcasing their long term care facility click here for a must read article

Friday, October 3, 2008

Are you celebrating Residents'Rights Week?

Celebrate Residents' Rights Week!

The theme is Recipe for Home: defining and creating home in long-term care facilities

October 5-11, 2008
Here is a link to several activityideas for the week as well as a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and a press release

Monday, September 29, 2008

An Activity for Residents Rights Week

Next week is Nursing Home Residents Rights Week(October 5-11)

Here is an activity you can do

Create a recipe for a good life

Friday, September 26, 2008

Super Mid Fall Activity Brain Boosters for Those with Dementia

More Ways to Keep the Mind of People with Alzheimer's Disease, Related Dementias, Long Term Care Residents, and Others, Active This Fall
By alzheimersideas, published Sep 24, 2008

As with the early fall activities and discussion topics, the ones for mid fall also stimulate the mind of those with Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and other long term care residentsKeeping these people engaged in activities and conversation help to slow their loss of function. Having them keep a positive attitude also is a must.

Mid fall activity topics include more about... read the whole article

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Activities for Rosh Hashanah

Even though the article, Four Easy Ways to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with Loved Ones Who Have Dementia was written over a year ago, it still had some great activity suggestions for a Jewish person with dementia whether he/she lives at home or in long term care.

Carry on a family tradition

All families have something special they do during the high holidays. Of course, most families go to a synagogue. What about after that? Maybe you went to Aunt Betty's. Aunt Betty may no longer be around, but you can recreate the atmosphere that was there. Invite one or two understanding friends to help you with this. The memories of visiting Aunt Betty will be there

Related to this is talking about past experiences on Rosh Hashanah or other holidays.......read the whole article

Another post describing different ideas for Rosh Hashanah and other fall activities to follow

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More About Making Music to Deal with Dementia


Australian researchers have revealed in a new study that dementia sufferers may be helped by music therapy.

They theorize that people whose memories are failing may be able to recall certain things if they hear a song from their youth.

Dr Felicity Baker, a senior lecturer from the University of Queensland (UQ) School of Music, is looking to conduct a study of 100 volunteer couples who will allow music therapists to visit their homes and show how to use music to increase communications.

"Thousands of people care for partners with dementia and take on a lot of burden, which means they are more prone...read the whole article

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Making music to deal with dementia

UQ NEWS online

Dr Felicity Baker, from UQ's School of Music, is investigating how music therapy might improve partner satisfaction by providing opportunities for the sharing of memories associated with certain songs.

The project will involve having a music therapist go into the home and show the spouse how they can use music as a way of creating meaningful experiences with their partner with Alzheimer's or another dementia.

People with dementia have difficulty with short term memory and lose the ability to communicate verbally. However, research shows that they really respond to music because it taps into automatic memory

When they listen to a piece of music that they have used in their past, it can stimulate the recall of those memories, which then helps them to talk about those memories which then helps with interaction.
.....read the whole story

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Top Early Fall Activity Brain Boosters for Those with Dementia

Associated Content
September 20
There are many types of activities that can be done in the fall with those who have dementia. Many of the activities can be done with other long term care residents as well. Remember any activity that makes people think will go along way in slowing the decline of dementia. In addition sparking conversation as these suggested topics do, also helps to keep a dementia person's mind active.

In part one, suggested activities are related to school, trees, harvests, and apples. All of these subjects are things that are associated with early fall

School begins in the fall.
There are all sorts of activities related to going to school. The song School Days is a nice way to begin an activity based on going to school. You can also
Talk about favorite school subjects
Have a spelling bee. (You would be....Read the whole article

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Community-Based Participatory Research in Disability and Long-Term Care Policy: A Case Study

By Minkler, Meredith Hammel, Joy; Gill, Carol J; Magasi, Susan; Vasquez, Victoria Breckwich; Bristo, Marca; Coleman, Diane
From 1997 to 2003, Illinois was spending approximately 80% of its long-term care budget on nursing homes and institutional care and was facing significant challenges to its long-term care delivery and the need to rebalance toward community-based supports for people with disabilities. A case-based program evaluation was done to analyze Moving Out of the Nursing Home to the Community, a community- based participatory research (CBPR) project. The Chicago-based project documented the experiences and concerns of 200 disabled people attempting to transition out of nursing homes to least restrictive community living, actively involving participants in an empowerment and systems and policy change program. The authors describe the partnership between the University of Illinois at Chicago and two centers for independent living; the project's research, policy-related goals, and activities; and the outcomes realized. Barriers and facilitating factors to long-term care systems change are described, as are implications for other CBPR partnerships focused on disability public policy. Keywords: community-based participatory research; disability policy; long- term care policy; community living; nursing homes; community integration; community participation

When the Supreme Court issued the Olmstead v. L.C. decision in July of 1999, it challenged states to provide services to people with disabilities "in the most integrated setting appropriate" to their needs (Olmstead v. L.C., 1999). Although many states have moved away from institutionalization and toward community-based supports, a number of states, including Illinois, have only begun the systems change needed to rebalance long-term care to offer real choice and access to community living with supports. The number of people with disabilities...read the whole article

This article is extremely interesting, maybe a little long. Let me know what you think

Friday, September 19, 2008

A touch of compassion

Activities directors have you ever contacted a group like this?
Twice a week, patients at the Barbara McInnis House, a healthcare facility in Boston, are treated to an unusual kind of therapy. They have their hands massaged. Most of them are recovering from a serious illness or injury or fighting a life-threatening disease, but when the time comes for their “hand rub,” high-tech medicine is put aside in favor of a soothing, intimate connection.

For a quarter hour, they sit with a graduate student from Simmons College who has been trained in hand massage. Sometimes they sit in silence; sometimes in quiet conversation, as classical music plays in the background....read the whole post

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Need volunteers

Activities directors are always looking for volunteers. this blog Dancer blog has some interesting thoughts.

I posted on this blog. Hopefully it will help get a volunteer or two into my facility
Susan's post

Leave a comment with your ideas

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Care homes providing best activities to be rewarded

Caring Business
Sept 16, 2008
Innovative care homes are to be rewarded at a gala party at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea tonight.

Prizes will be given out to the five winners of the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA) national 'Breath of Air' challenge by Baroness Neuberger.

The five top prize winners, out of 350 entrants, are Ashley House, Berrystead Nursing Home, Marlborough Lodge, Wellesley Road and Whiteley Village. The overall winner, to be revealed on the night, will receive a cheque for £3,000 towards activities with an outdoor theme for their residents.

The winners demonstrated a creative approach to enabling older people to enjoy the outside. One of the care home finalists helped Harry, an ex farmer in his eighties to have the pleasure of mucking out the stables. Another care home organised some star-gazing in the garden at....read the whole article

Does anyone know a place that does this in the US?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Alzheimer's and massage therapy

for an excellent visual on how to give a great hand massage to someone who has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia click here

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand word

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thank you Margaret Arlt, Activities Director

Margaret is the activities director at Kentmere Nursing Care Center. One of her staff members used the photo on the right. Margaret devised some questions.The staff member used the questions to help the residents write a story about the photo The residents enjoyed the activity and will do it again.If you missed the story in Activity Director Today click here
Margaret and her residents will be receiving a free copy of Adorable Photographs of Our BabyMeaningful, Mind-Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones, and Involved Professionals,flash cards
Thank you Margaret
For more information leave a reply to this post

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Activities directors and residents accept visitors with open arms

Residents of long term care facilities always welcome visits from kind people from the outside. It also makes the job of the activities director easier Here is a case in point
A Little Blood and Guts Does a Body Good
September 11, 2008

One Wednesday night a month, The Paseo Gathering commits to some sort of community outreach, and this past Wednesday we made our first visit to Grace Living Center, a local nursing home. When I made the arrangements with the Center’s activities director, she recommended an agenda for the evening and said she was looking forward to it.

We arrived at the nursing home lugging bottles of soda and fingernail polish and a small selection of movies; all the makings for a cozy movie night complete with popcorn. From my home collection, I had picked a couple of movies that I figured would be perfect for those nice, sedate, elderly folks who had entered their twilight years and were happy to shoot the breeze until their “time” had come. I couldn’t help feeling that feeling; the one that says, “I’m going to make someone happy, and that makes me happy.” (I’m still not completely sure how to “do good” without feeling a little proud that I’m doing good. Quite a conundrum, I know.)

One of the women who joined with me also brought along a few movies...read the whole artivle

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What can you learn from Susan Berg about Alzheimer's disease and other dementias?

Sept 11
Author and Alzheimer's and dementia specialist,Susan Berg has just started a blog, htttp://dementia.today.com She is going to discuss everything about Alzheimer's disease and other dementias,after sharing the basics with her readership.Visit often

click here to read all about this blog

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Late stage dementia and activities

Two great activities for those in late stage dementia, agitated residents and low functioning residents are music and hand massages

click here to read this

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Free product opportunity for activities directors and others

Have you seen the article, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words in the September Activity Director Today
The article discusses how to do a creative writing activity with dementia long term care residents as well as others.
I would like to give the first two people who try the activity and email me the story created, a free set of Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals , flash cards.
You can use the picture on the Alzheimers ideas website ' your own picture, or I can email you another picture from the flash card set
Please email alzheimersideas@gmail.com if you have any questions
I look forward to seeing your submissions

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grandparent"s Day activities and those with dementia

Here are several links to some great Grandparent's Day activities that can be done with those who have dementia as well as with most people living in long term care facilities

Here is a helpful website with plenty of Grandparent's Day activities

Here is a great article

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How you can help win $1.5 million to fight Alzheimer's and other dementias

(Alzheimer Advocacy Team) August 21, 2008
Congress is not expected to take action on the bills passed in July by the Appropriations Committees that would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and boost funding for Alzheimer research to approximately $662 million – a $20 million increase over current funding. These same bills would also continue funding for critical programs that support people living with Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and their caregivers.

With just a few clicks, you can help make a huge impact in the fight against Alzheimer's disease

click here

You can also
Recruit others to become advocates or
Pass on the Proclamation

These are simple things that you can do,right now, no matter who you are because if Alzheimer's disease does not affect you now, it will affect you soon.


Monday, August 18, 2008

More activity ideas for those with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias from Jan Allen

I am always searching for new activity ideas especially for those with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Most often whatever I find has to be adapted and modified to the group or individuals that I or my staff is working with.

Here are some ideas from Jan Allen

Let me know what myou think.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Here is what Geriatric Care Manager: K. Paggi had to say about activities for those with dementia

I believe activities are crucial to well-being. In the past ten years, research has shown that activities play a large part in preventing the progression of dementia. We also know that socializing prevents loneliness, despair and suicidal thoughts.

For several years I led recreational activities on weekends at a geri-psych hospital. The activities that took place on any particular weekend greatly depended on the patients in the unit at that time. All of the patients there had dementia and behavior disorders that precluded their being able to remain at home until the behavior had been extinguished. Most patients were on the unit between three to four weeks, while the doctors changed their drugs or the dosages. Some were more alert; others were more physically functional. Some returned home; others returned to a nursing home or entered a long-term care facility for the first time after discharge.

read the whole story

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Time filler music videos to have on hand

I suggest having one or all of the following music videos.
Included are links of where to purchase them online.

However, I suggest, that you try before you buy.
Get them from the library first. Then buy the ones that work

There is a Mitch Miller video available at Amazon.com
The lihk is for the DVD, but it is also available in VHS for much less
It is in black and white, but it reminds many Alzheimer's and other long term care residents of the Saturday night sing along that was on TV in their era.

Another popular ideo series is by the Sentimental singes.
Some are aailable on Amazon.com

Here are three other great music videos and links

Russ Carlton
Frank Woehrle
Phil Bernardi

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tips on how to create music activities for those with dementia

Music is a powerful tool for reaching people with dementia.

Here are more suggestions for music activities courtesy of Alzheimer's Weekly

Visit your local music store to find CDs from the 1930s through the 1950s. Songs should be familiar, such as songs from the period when the clients were teens or young adults. Favorite popular artists, Broadway shows such as “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma,” and works of composers like George Gershwin are but a few possibilities. (Please note that with the aging of the “baby boomers”, one should be aware of changing musical tastes as tomorrow’s older adults gradually shift more towards Elvis and the Beatles).
There are many ready-made sing-along DVD and video resources available at Amazon.com and found in senior product catalogs such as S&S Worldwide (1-800-243-9232) and Sea Bay Games (1-800-568-0188).
Your public library is another wonderful resource where you can borrow musical CDs or DVDs of an opera or familiar Broadway show.
If you play an instrument and want to have a sing-along, play it at a slower pace and in a lower key. You can obtain lyrics from the Internet and print them out in an enlarged typeface.
Create a soothing atmosphere by playing classical CDs such as Mozart and Chopin, or tune the radio to a classical music station. (Note: Playing any kind of music for longer than one hour at a time can contribute to agitation. Give participants a 20 minute break from the music before continuing.)
Add singing and humming to your daily activities and encourage all to join you in singing. Your participation in musical activities is bound to lift your spirits too

Music can open peoples' hearts and minds so use it often

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Music activities, Alzheimers disease and related dementias

I am so glad Susan is posting activities for those with Alzheimers disease and related dementias.

Over the next months I will be adding activities that incorporate music

Here is a link to an interesting article

Here is another article

Thanks for stopping by

Be sure to leave any questions in the comment section. I will do my best to answer them.

Contact me directly by email alzmusic@gmail.com

Friday, July 25, 2008

Adapting and modifying activities for those with dementia

If you are working with long term care residents with dementia, you need to adapt and modify activities so that they are success oriented and failure free.

There are many good activity ideas out there but in order to make them success oriented for your particular population, you probably will have to change them somewhat to meet the needs and interests of the group

Lets take an activity from the book Hidden Treasures, a book with many good musical activities for those with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

An activity that would be appropriate for this time of year would be an activity about the beach.

The origanal author of this book, Cindy Cordrey, suggests an evtremely appropriate activity. It is all about going to the beach something many did and remember

She integrates music, reminiscing and sensory stimulation.

The goals of the activity are to: have fun, reminisce, socialize, and see, feel, and hear familiar beach relateed material.

Does this sound like a good activity?

Do you have any questions?

Please post them.

More about this activity in my next post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Encourage Your Staff to Have an Alzheimer's Viewing Party

Susan Berg, Alzheimer's advocate, author and Activity Director at Hunt Nursing and Rehabilitation Center encourages people everywhere to become an Alzheimer's advocate because more than 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia and someone new is added to those ranks every 71 seconds. By 2050 experts predict there will be as many as 16 million Americans living with the disease. There are no survivors and there is no cure. There is no doubt you know people affected by these terrible diseases.

You can help in the fight against these diseases! Host a Viewing Party

Click here for more information

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More About Dementia Activity Tools

Yesterday, I talked about the book Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals. which features baby pictures as a springboard for discussions about anything under the sun. And I said the author, Susan Berg, is giving away a portion of the book. Just click here and email her

The other book, I talked about, Still Giving Kisses by Barbara Smith, discusses many ideas she used with her mother who had Alzheimer’s disease.Barbara is an Occupational Therapist. Thus her ideas are right on.

What I did not say is that both these books are extremenly useful tools for CNAs

Here is what Vernessa LuShaun Burgess, CNA from Delray Beach, Florida had to say

The book was very insightful. I especially enjoyed the pictures that the staff
and family can use. They will help me communicate with the memory challenged and
provide a personal touch while I am doing it. The ideas were also very helpful
because they involve an involve people with all stages of dementia and can
easily be adapted for verbal and nonverbalindividuals. I give the book two
thumbs up.
Thus have several copies of each book around so they(the CNAs) will be able to engage dementia residents more easily

Also you may want to check out the post on May 30,Activities that ANYONE can do with a RESIDENT with or without dementia
Your comments, please

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dementia Activity Helpers

Often staff and visitors do not know what to do after they say hello to persons with dementia.

Listed are two books that will solve this problem

One is Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals.It features baby pictures as a springboard for discussions about anything under the sun.

The author, Susan Berg, is giving away a portion of the book. Just click here and email her

The other book is called Still Giving Kisses. The author Barbara Smith discusses many ideas she used with her mother who had Alzheimer’s disease.
Barbara is an Occupational Therapist. Thus her ideas are right on.
Click here to get a glimpse of her website.

You may want to make copies if the songs she lists to hand out to the residents, staff and visitors

Let me know what you think

Thanks for stopping by

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Activities help improve lives of Alzheimer's folks and other long term care residents

Those woking in Activities Departments of long term care facilities and alike know how important daily activities are to all residents, clients etc., especially those with Alzheimer's and other dementias

Robert Lucas former administrator, and founder of Activty Director Today has a survey for Activities Professional.

Click here to see it

Help Activities departments everywhere get the recognition and funding they need

Thank you

Monday, July 14, 2008

Activity Director Today Welcomes Susan Berg

The Activity Director Today Community welcomes Susan Berg to the contributing staff. Every month she will be sharing an activity that works for folks in long term care settings. Please visit her webpage at Activity Director Today
This months featured activity is Name That Tune with a Twist
Here is a link to Sarah's Favorite Songs
You may also want to subscribe to the Avtivity Director E-Magazine
You can also post your comments here or at yahoo's health group
Activity Director Community

Friday, July 11, 2008

Person Centered Care and the Activity/Recreation Professional

Debbie Hommel BA, CRA, ACC, CRTS, Executive Director of DH Special Services
of Activity Directors Office has made some excellent suggestions for person centered care and the Activity Professional
Debbie is dedicated to helping Activity Professionals with the daily operation of their department.

Person Centered Care and the Activity/Recreation Professional

by Debbie Hommel, BA, CRA, ACC, CRTS

Here is a portion of what she wrote:

Activities that are meaningful: What makes an activity meaningful? Meaningful activities are those that relate to the interests and needs of the person.
click here for more info

Activities that reflect person’s lifestyle and interests: Again, a good assessment will allow the activity professional to offer the right programs and use the appropriate skills to interest and engage the resident in the program.
Examples: Many of the same activities which were listed for meaningful programs apply here as well.

Activities that are enjoyable: In order to find joy in a program, the individual needs to feel some measure of success and a “return” on their participation.
click here for more info

Activities that make the person feel useful: The loss of purpose or the feeling that you are not needed anymore is one of the most devastating losses of any person, including our elderly population. Many residents have lived long,
productive lives. Arriving at the point where they are told to“sit and relax”is depressing at best.
click here for more info

Activities that give a sense of belonging: The activity community which includes a variety of
click here for more info

This information is particularily valuable in light of the new interpretations of CMS activity guidelines and potential F tags

You may also be interested in this

For valuable and innovative activity ideas click here

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More Sensory Activities

I do alot of poetry reading. Do those with dementia understand the words? Probably
not...but I believe they respond to the rhythm of the words, the calm
feeling that a soothing poem elicits, the excited feeling that a fast-
paced poem brings, etc.
And...you can never have too many hats. Wear them yourself, have the residents wear them.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you can feel it, smell it,
touch it, wear it or hear it...you can put it to some use with
Alzheimers and dementia residents. All it takes is a little imagination! And
don't forget the spiritual aspect.
Use whatever you think might still find that place inside of the resident where understanding still exists. It's there...and
it might be different with each resident...but it's the search for that special place inside that makes the work worthwhile.

click here for more

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Music is a pwerful tool for those with dementia

Because music is so good for persons with Alzheimer's disease or any dementia for that matter. Music groups or 1:1 activities with music should happen often.
Here is a link to article about music and dementia
Click here
Click here to see the importance of music for nursing home residents with dementia
I have posted a link to a music activity many residents enjoy
Click here to see it again
Click here for a link to songs dementia folks are sure to enjoy.
You can even print out these songs
So Activity and other Healthcare professionals and caregivers, friends and loved ones have a time for music and singing everyday

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Laughter therapy and those with dementia

Laughter benefits everyone including those with dementia.

Do you have a laughter club?

click here for to find out what laughter really is.

You as an activities director can run one. Or invite your staff or volunteers to facilitate a laughter group.

A great "immune booster" is a Laughter Club:
Laughter groups can promote laughing for fun, exercise, deeper breather, energy and immune system boost, and an outlet for expression.

Click here for another reason to have a laughter group

Here is how to run a laughter therapy program

The key to facilitating a laughter therapy program is to have confidence, enjoy yourself and create a relaxed and safe environment for people to participate. Residents who are confident, less inhibited and willing to experiment with you will help make up your successful group. Some tips are:
* Create a small, intimate group in a circle away from distraction
* Start by slowly speaking and demonstrate some simple deeper breathing exercises
* Progress to letting out breathes in short pants such as "hah, hah, hah" and slowly turn them to laughing sounds
* Experiment with different laughs such as "he he, ho ho, huh, huh" giggles, low and high pitched laughs
* Use eye contact, match other people's laugh sounds, and keep going for as long as is comfortable
* Regular laughter groups will encourage greater confidence and participation as time goes on. At least twice weekly is recommended, meeting at the same familiar time and place
* Don't feel comfortable yet but would like to try? Start your program as a relaxation or breathing exercise group, and slowly introduce laughter as one of your breathing exercises. Over time we are sure you will feel comfortable with progressing to laugher therapy, or you may wish to keep it as one of several breathing excercises. Either way, the benefits are positive and will boost energy, reduce stress, encourage friendships and improve overall wellbeing.
For more information click here

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mentally Stimulating Dementia Activities

Mentally stimulating activities for those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias

These are helpful suggestions for caregivers and healthcare professionals

1. PREVIOUS INTERESTS. Research the historical eras of the person's life on the internet to find items that trigger memories and interests. For instance, new hobbies may result from researching vintage items from the 1930's or 40's. At the website hyperhistory.com you can research people, events, arts, history, culture and more.

2. PERSONAL HISTORY - Relate personal history items to major historical events. Draw a timeline for the personal history. As memories become difficult to remember seeing events on a timeline makes it less confusing.

3. COMPUTER ACTIVITIES. If a person with Alzheimer's is not familiar with computer skills he or she may still enjoy sitting next to you while you visit travel websites, live web cams of interesting locations around the world or other interesting sites.

4. click here to see the rest

Monday, June 9, 2008

Top Orientation Tips for Alzheimer's and related dementias

Top Tips to Help Orientate People with Dementia

Effects of an Orientation Program
There are a number of things healthcare professionals and caregivers can do to help orientate a person with dementia to time and place. Environmental and personal interaction strategies are under utilized. These strategies are often only applied if a person with Alzheimer's, or other type of dementia, is exhibiting behavioral disturbances. Yet by using these orientation tips you can help maintain the skills of someone with dementia. Your actions can be comforting and help to reduce fear and anxiety.

Of course, you do not want to furthur confuse the dementia person. If your stategies are not working, try later or do something different

Problem behavior and Orientation

click here to see the rest of the tips

There are many good ideas for dementia activities on this website

Let us know what you think.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Special gifts for the man with dementia on Father's Day

Family members may ask you about gifts for the man with dementia. You as an activities director may want to suggest some or all of the ideas in this article
Special gifts for the man with dementia on Father's Day
As you know finding the right gift for the man with dementia this Father's Day can be easy if you take into consideration his likes and dislikes as well as his abilities. There are many wonderful items they can buy or make that will make the time spent together meaningful.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dementia activities in nursing homes help keep dementia at bay

Furthur dementia decline is lessened in physically, mentally, and socially, active residents.

Activities directors are so important to the care of those living in nursing homes. We are responsible for ensuring that our residents keep active in many ways.

Now there is another reason to feel good about all we do.

In an article at Psych Central.com entitled Multiple Benefits of Socializing for Older Women it is reported in a study that keeping older women socially active staves off dementia.

Because of this, one could certainly say by keeping our residents socially active, we help them to lessen their chances of getting dementia. If they already are showing symptioms of these diseases, then we help to slow down their mental decline

Another article entitled Top Ten Nursing Home Niceties may be of interest to you.

There was a letter to the editor of USA Today praising nursing homes, that you may want to read.

Thank you Activities Directors everywhere.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dementia Neurobics and Other Brain Boosters

'Neurobics' for the dementia person are just as important as for those trying to stave off dementia. Engaging in them every day can help slow down the cognitive decline associated with dementia

Some activities are better than others. You do not want to confuse someone with dementia. However you do want to keep the mind active.

Visiting a farmers market or just tasting food of different types might be good.

Identifying food by usung all a dementia persons' senses is also mind stretching for dementia folks.

Familiar trivia games also can spark a dementia brain.

Easy card games or sorting cards also hold brain power for those with dementia.

Read this article to help you

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another enjoyable dementia activity

Bucket ball is an activity dementia persons might enjoy. Any activities director or caregiver can share it with dementia person(s)

Players should be seated or standing in a circle. Place a bucket, empty trash can, or basket in the center of the circle. Players try to throw a medium sized rubber ball into the bucket. If the player makes it the caregiver gets the ball and rolls it back to the participant. If not, the ball goes to the next participant in the circle
click here for more dementia activities and ideas

Monday, June 2, 2008

Going Low Tech, Low Cost To Ease The Terrors Of Dementia

Here are some good ideas to calm agitated dementia residents
-- Everyday items like hot water bottles, cats and dogs, and even bowling pins can play a big role in staving off the terrors of dementia for many residents in nursing homes, say 250 Rochester-area nursing home workers who gathered last week to share ideas on what works and what doesn't. ... > read full article

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Easy dementia activity that will keep folks mentally and physically active

Here is an easy dementia activity that keeps folks both mentally and physically active.

It will appeal to early dementia to late stage dementia persons.

What is it, you ask?

It is a paper plate sing a long.

Take 10 or so paper plates.

Write the residents favorite song title on the plates.
One song per plate.

Then have the residents sit in a circle.

Place the plates inside the circle.

Have each resident throw a bean bag.

The residents sing whatever song the bean bag is closest to after being thrown.

Try this activity and leave a post with your residents' response.

This is a great activity because it appeals to a wide audience of dementia folks. It is multilevel and can be easily be modified and adapted.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia friendly gardens and water

Those with dementia like the outdoors. Planting easy to grow plants that do not need a lot of care are best.

A safe place outside is best. However you can have an indoor garden or some potted plants like herbs. Herbs are edible and easy to grow. They can be harvested often and used in some recipes.

You may want to have some spare plants in case the ones the dementia person grows do not do too well.

Post a response if you would like more specifics

The sound of water trickling somewhere nearby is so peaceful to listen to. However, Alzheimer’s and gardens don’t always mix well. If you are planning a water element for your garden, you should avoid ponds and waterfalls. Large fountains can also be a problem. A small fountain attached to a wall at the Alzheimer’s patient’s eye level is a better, safer option. That way, you both can enjoy the water’s soothing sound without having to worry about water safety.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dementia Activities

Those engaging dementia residents are always looking for useful activities. This Web site is dedicated to the Activities Professionals in Long Term Care that are constantly trying to obtain the "BEST" for their residents for the least amount of money. Activities budgets tend to be limited; we often have to STRETCH the dollars. The purpose of this Web site is to supply you with ideas and resources that will give your residents the activities with everything needed to make each program special and unique.
click here to see the site and see valuable activities

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

50 Activity Ideas for Someone with Alzheimer's

Carrie Hill, PhD lists Alzheimer's disease and related dementia activities
click here to see the suggestions
Please feel free to elaborate on any of the ideas listed.
Have you tried any of them?
usually has great suggestions for all sorts of activities

Monday, May 26, 2008

More Dementia Activity Ideas That Work

According to Activity Director Gina Salazar, you need to try to
find out what your residents like and what their individual needs are,
read their history,talk to their families,ask them.

You will find that different activities will work some days and times and others won't. The best thing to remember is that the residents are not babies and should be treated with respect at all times.

Have fun with them and keep them busy,

look out for Sundowning(restless behavior towards the late
afternoon hours ),

Try to keep a consistent program.

These are the most rewarding residents that I have found to work with. Here are a few ideas and sample activity days that you might try:
click here to find out what they are

I agree with Gina

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And the dementia activity is

Have you joined senioract yet?

get many great dementia and long term care activity ideas, ask questions, see valuable activity links and so much more

click on the link below

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strategies to support dementia veterans this Memorial Day

Dementia,including Alzheimer disease, affects about 1 in 13 seniors,many of them veterans. As you remember our war heroes on Memorial Day,think about what you can do for them.They did so much for us

Here are some great activity suggestions

For those in nursing homes and other institutions, make sure veterans with dementia are visited often.

All people, including those with memory loss, need human contact. They need to be hugged. They need to hear your voice. They may not know you but as long as you know who they are, that's all that matters.

Talk to them about their service to our country. Often they will share stories with you because their time in the service made a huge impression on them

Tell them how proud you are of them. Thank them for their service. This is sure to make them feel good. Most likely, it will make them smile

Smile with a veteran. Laughter is wonderful medicine...

Sing patriotic songs with a veteran with dementia. Often they will be able o sing many familiar songs even though, they may not be able to speak.

Read to them. Have them read to you. Large simple statements are best.

Share pictures with them, especially large colorful ones

Make a visitor’s packet for them

click here to read more ideas

Monday, May 19, 2008

Activities for People with Alzheimer's

I just ran across this site. I thought you might be interested in it.

Here is an example

Description: I work in an Alz. Specific facility and the residents are typically lethargic and do not want to stray far from the comfort zone. I decided that they needed a few things...first fresh air, I am a true believer in it. Second, Mild exercise. Finally, sensory stimulation

click here for more ideas

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Another great dementia activity

Before you begin to design or use a dementia activity, it is of the utmost importance that you known persons you are interacting with. It is helpful to recognize the dementia folks likes and dislikes as well as their strenghts and weaknesses. Also helpful is knowledge of the dementia persons past life and experiences since they may not be able to tell you them. Clinical observation is of the utmost importance here.

Persons with dementia, as well as other nursing home residents, love music.Music is such a powerful tool. Often dementia folks remember words to familiar songs even when they are otherwise non verbal. Singing improves dementia persons' mood. Singing is also good for the lungs.

Click here to learn more about an easy to do dementia music activity

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Simple, yet effective, dementia activities

Before you begin to design or use an activity, it is of the utmost importance that you know the persons likes and dislikes. You should know their strengths and weaknesses. Also helpful is knowledge of the person’s past life and experiences.

Here are several activities that can be done independently or in small groups with most early to mid-stage dementia folks

These activities use playing cards

click here for the whole activity explanation

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An Alzheimer's activity just in time for Mother's day

Mother's day is all about love.

Here are some ideas for discussion questions about love.

They are ideal for lower functioning residents but can be easily adapted for higher functioning ones

They are all about a baby,love and people who love the baby as well as other things

They love our baby
Who loves the baby?
If the participants need help say;
Does the baby’s brother love him?
Does his mother love him?
Do you love the baby?
Who else loves the baby?
Possible responses and opportunities for discussion: father, sister, aunt, uncle, friend, dog, cat, etc. Have a discussion about people in one or more of the participant’s family.

What else do you love?
If the participants need help say;
I love ice cream, how about you?
Possible responses(which are almost endless) and opportunities for discussion: pizza or any other food, roses or any type of flower, watching television, singing a song, etc.
Have a discussion about any one or more of these things.
Sing one or more love songs. Recite a poem about love, something as simple as Roses are Red, etc.

Click here for more ideas