Saturday, March 29, 2014

Aesop's fable- Crow and the pitcher

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The Crow and The Pitcher

Once upon a time there was crow flying around and he was so weak from thirst that he was half dead with thirst. Finally flying became too hard for him and he had to land. He landed near a narrow necked pitcher.  Right away, the crow stuck his head into the pitcher to get a drink thinking that the pitcher would be full of water he was very sad to find that there were just a few drops way at the bottom of the pitcher.

What was the poor thirsty crow to do?
He shoved his head all around the neck of the pitcher, but no matter what he did he couldn’t reach the water at the bottom. Giving up on that idea the crow began looking around for a solution to his problem. He spied a bunch of pebbles nearby and got a super great idea. He gathered the pebbles and one by one, dropped them into the pitcher. He dropped so many pebbles into the pitcher that he lost count. Finally there were enough pebbles in the pitcher that the water rose up the neck of the pitcher far enough for the thirsty crow to drink.
That is the story of the Crow and the Pitcher.  The moral of the story is that a little bit at time can get a big job done. Don’t give up, keep working to reach your goal.  OR, “Every journey starts with one step.”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Apple tree- story about patience

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Archie loved apples. He thought they were sweet.
He thought apples were always a wonderful treat.
He ate apples each day when he went out to play,
but the part in the middle, he just threw away.
Then one day as he ate an apple to the core,
he caught sight of a seed, wondering what it was for.
If he planted a seed, it just might grow a tree.
Archie thought, "what a wonderful thing that would be."
So he planted the seed in a hole, core and all.
He had faith it would grow, even though it was small.
With a shovel he covered the core with a mound,
taking care of the seed that was under the ground.
He brought water each day in a watering can.He did his very best to make good on his plan.
Every day, he returned with the hope he would see
a small sign of new growth from the seed to a tree.
But the sign did not come and as time drifted by
Archie started to doubt whether he should still try.
There was no hint of green, not the tiniest leaf.
Was an apple tree really worth all of the grief?
He was ready to quit if it just would not grow.
For so long he had watered that seed down below.
Archie went to his father to ask what to do,and his dad told him something that he never knew.
He said, "sometimes things don't go the way that we plan.
Sometimes people give up when they don't think they can.
But to those who keep trying, when no one else will,
there are dreams to achieve and great hopes to fulfill."
The words struck Archie's mind and he knew they were true.
He would try to be patient and keep trying too.
Archie came every day without fail to the seed.
He brought water and tended its every need.
Then one day like the sun breaking out from a storm
a green leaf sprouted up from the ground in true form.
Reaching into the sky as if saying hello
the new tree met the one who allowed it to grow.
Archie saw the small leaf, and a tear filled his eye.
He was so full of cheer that he started to cry.
It was patience that brought this new life from the ground.
It gave Archie more joy than he ever had found.
He had not given up when the outlook was grim.
He helped that little seed that depended on him.
And the tree brought him apples, in time, that were sweet.
It brought even more apples than Archie could eat.
It grew strong, broad, and beautiful; ever so tall
from the patience and hope for a seed once so small.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aesop's fable about honesty

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A Woodman was felling a tree on the bank of a river, when his axe, glancing off the trunk, flew out of his hands and fell into the water. As he stood by the water's edge lamenting his loss, Mercury appeared and asked him the reason for his grief; and on learning what had happened, out of pity for his distress he dived into the river and, bringing up a golden axe, asked him if that was the one he had lost. The Woodman replied that it was not, and Mercury then dived a second time, and, bringing up a silver axe, asked if that was his. "No, that is not mine either," said the Woodman. Once more Mercury dived into the river, and brought up the missing axe. The Woodman was overjoyed at recovering his property, and thanked his benefactor warmly; and the latter was so pleased with his honesty that he made him a present of the other two axes. When the Woodman told the story to his companions, one of these was filled with envy of his good fortune and determined to try his luck for himself. So he went and began to fell a tree at the edge of the river, and presently contrived to let his axe drop into the water. Mercury appeared as before, and, on learning that his axe had fallen in, he dived and brought up a golden axe, as he had done on the previous occasion. Without waiting to be asked whether it was his or not the fellow cried, "That's mine, that's mine," and stretched out his hand eagerly for the prize: but Mercury was so disgusted at his dishonesty that he not only declined to give him the golden axe, but also refused to recover for him the one he had let fall into the stream.

Honesty is the best policy

Friday, March 21, 2014

Easy ways to pay it forward

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition]

The world can seem like an unfriendly, threatening place, yet we all want safety, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. How can one ordinary person—you or me—make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice "paying it forward." While the steps might be simple, the outcome could create a sense of luck and good will that changes the world
Be attentive wherever you are for opportunities to help someone. Perhaps you have an elderly or disabled neighbor who is too proud to ask for help with their yard work or maybe you're in a restaurant and see someone who looks like they could use some kind stranger to pay for their meal. You can change people's attitudes about the world through your unobtrusive acts of kindness.
Do something nice for someone you don't know (or don't know very well). It should be something significant, and not for a person from whom you expect a good deed—or anything at all, for that matter—in return.
Spread the word. If the person thanks you and wants to "repay" you (that is, pay it "back"), let them know that what you'd really like is for them to pay it "forward"—you'd like them to do something nice for three people they don't know, and ask those three people to do something nice for three more people. The idea is to consciously increase the goodness of the world.
Pay it forward. When you notice that somebody has done something nice for you, make a note in your mind to practice three acts of kindness towards other people.
Now encourage other to PAY IT FORWARD

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sensational imagination vacation

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

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As with all activities, you need to adapt and modify this one to meet the interest level and needs of your particular audience.

Many folks have traveled in their past. If they did not actually do a lot of traveling, they probably dreamed of travel. They, most likely, packed a suitcase for themselves or for someone in their family.

One of the reasons this activity is good for lower level residents is because you can put many sensory items in the suitcase, you will be using for the activity. Did you know that low functioning residents who hold certain sensory items like a stuffed animal, a soft furry scarf, a silky scarf, an unusual ball or other individual preference items, can ground them? That is, it can make them more alert if they are lethargic, or calm them down if they have a tendency to become agitated. Just the act of holding certain objects can do this. Part of this activity involves holding sensory items.

Of course this activity offers all a chance to socialize on many levels, a chance to reminisce and dream of traveling to far away places and an opportunity to have fun.
Before you begin the group, you must pack a suitcase full of 20 or so items that you might take on a trip. Of course, put some unusual items in as well. They are always good for a laugh. Also include some things that have sensory appeal.

Try to make even ordinary items extraordinary. This will make for a much more interesting activity. Once you have a suitcase packed with items, you can use it over and over again.
 In fact you can have another activity about packing a bag for a trip. You could have different items available for the residents to see and feel. Then the group can decide if a displayed item should be put in the suitcase.

Alternately, you could just ask group members what they would put in a suitcase, making suggestions as necessary.

Also a week or so prior to the start of the group, talk about vacation destinations to get a feel for where the group may want to travel.
I then get a travel video from the library to use during the activity. You can do the activity without a travel video if you so choose
 Once the suitcase is packed and the video is in hand, you are ready to go on a sensational imagination vacation.

Assemble the group. I usually put the group in a circle so it is easier for them to pick something from the suitcase. When it is time to watch the video, you can rearrange the group making sure all can see the TV.

Now set the scene. Get people in the mood to take a trip. Ask them to name ways to travel to places? They could go by car, bus, train, boat, or airplane. See how many modes of transportation, they can name. Give hints as needed. You may want to have pictures of these means of transport. You may want to help lower functioning residents(lfr) answer questions by giving them a choice of two responses. Or you can say, “I can tell that (lfr) likes to travel by car. The gently squeeze his hand and give him a big smile.

You can also ask who has traveled by each of these things?

Now ask the group members how they will be traveling today?

Then pretend you are getting into whatever they chose to travel in.

Say, “Ok now we are traveling”

Next say, “What song can we sing to make the time go faster?”  Give choices, if necessary. Then sing that song.

 After that say, “We are there. Let’s go to the hotel and unpack”.

Here is where the fun begins. Now get out the suitcase and let everyone pick something out of the suitcase one at a time.

After one person picks something say, “Why did we pack this?”

If no one can think of anything and you can’t either say, “Well next time, we will be more awake when we pack, or we will not let(make up a name) pack”. Otherwise discuss why that item was packed. It can be something silly. That is always good for a laugh.

Make sure that everyone has a chance to pick something. Try to let them pick a nice sensory item that is listed here

Give everyone a turn to pick something, but make sure nothing is picked twice.

 After every two people pick-Tell a joke or ask a trivia question. I even include a paper with trivia questions in the suitcase. When someone picks it, I ask the trivia questions on the paper.

This whole thing should take about a half  hour. You could extend it to take longer if you so choose.
 For the next half hour watch the travel video.

Make sure everyone is paying attention.
When it is over or a lot of people seem bored, turn off the video.

Alternately, you can pick items from the suitcase and then have a snack.
 Let the residents watch the video while you are doing paperwork or in between activities.

 I find most long term care residents like watching travel videos. The ones I have seen are beautifully filmed.

 You could also invite a family member in to share some of their travel slides.

 For infection control purposes, you may want to have the laundry wash the washable items in the suitcase, and repack it with the clean items.

When the group is over make sure to thank everyone for coming. Also tell them how much you enjoyed traveling with them.  
 Here is an idea if the group is composed of mostly low functioning residents.

Have a bag full of different types of stuffed animals. Say that you are going to a stuffed animal convention.

 Instead of picking items from the suitcase, they pick an animal from the bag. If necessary, you can pick it for them. Then talk about the animal.
While talking about the animal, make sure they hold it. Let them hold the animal as long as they want. If you want to get the animal back, you can say that you need to keep the animal for the convention. Do not worry if you cannot get it back. Eventually, they will tire of it. Retrieve it then.