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 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 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.