Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beyond Bingo: Meaningful Activities for Persons with Dementia in Nursing Homes (part 6)

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

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia Thanksgiving activity

Annals of Long Term Care

Marianne Smith, PhD, ARNP, BC, Ann Kolanowski, PhD, RN, FAAN, Linda L. Buettner,
PhD, LRT, CTRS, and Kathleen C. Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN

Life Roles

Therapeutic Cooking offers a familiar, family-like intervention that may simultaneously stimulate cognition skills, improve motor function (fine and gross, depending on the activity), and reduce anorexia.16,19 Cooking activities may involve different levels of engagement, such as planning menus, assembling food required by a particular recipe, using adapted equipment to prepare food (eg, using an apple peeler to prepare pie), stirring batter or placing dough on trays, preparing finger foods (eg, putting cherry tomatoes on decorative, plastic serving “trees”), and enjoying baked or prepared items in a group. Cooking may be combined with other activities, such as gardening in raised beds, setting or decorating the table, and, importantly, socialization related to past experiences and current interests.


Engaging persons with dementia in various types of physical exercises and activities is associated with improved sleep, function, and mood, as well as reduced restlessness and wandering. For example, Exercise for Function7 is a structured physical activity that combines range of motion (eg, head rotation, shoulder shrugs, knee lifts) with strengthening (eg, water jug lifts) and endurance (eg, tethered balloon ball) activities. A 20-minute exercise routine is choreographed to familiar music, with exercises moving from head to feet under the guidance of a therapist and used three times per week as a small-group intervention (eg, 3-5 residents).7

An alternative program engages early risers who are at risk for unsafe behaviors such as wandering, falling, or agitation. The Early Risers Walking Club7 is conducted 30 minutes a day, five days a week, starting at 7:00 AM. These morning walks are individualized and graded to increase as endurance levels improve.7


The Price Is Right Game7 may be used for several purposes: cognitive stimulation related to guessing prices; appetite stimulation related to thinking about food; socialization, as foods and prices are discussed; and as a means to engage residents who tend to wander away from the dining room before meals are served. During the small-group intervention, a therapist introduces empty food containers as though they have just come from the grocery store. Two food items are held up, and residents are asked, “Which one do you think costs more?” After each guess, residents are shown the actual price (marked on the bottom of the item) and engaged in brief discussion (eg, “Do you think that is a fair price? What do you make with [name of item]?”).

Another cognitive-based program is to play Dominoes,7 using regular or large dominoes, or picture dominoes as outlined in Simple Pleasures. Dominoes may be played according to rules with higher-functioning residents, while building structures or setting dominoes on edge in a line to be toppled may be preferred by mid-functioning residents. Lower-functioning residents benefit from color-matched dominoes or those with large wooden pictures.

Coming up....Psychosocial Club–Based

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