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Dementia

20 August 2010

Stimulation for sufferers

What suitable activities can be used to keep the sufferers stimulated?

Introduction

Included in this article is the use of stimulating activities

  • Definition of an activity
  • Why use activities?
  • Values / aims of activities
  • Guidelines for planning activities
  • List of possible activities to use

  • A tool to help us relate to residents
  • A tool to provide residents with sensory information
  • A tool for assessing their abilities – to understand residents better and help them do what they are still capable of doing
  • To improve the quality of life of the elderly
  • To maintain / improve functioning
  • To help to integrate the person socially
  • To improve mental and physical status
  • Activities play a significant part in the prevention and intervention of challenging behaviours.

  • Evaluation of functioning
  • Providing socialisation and interaction with others
  • Allowing residents to experience pleasure and satisfaction
  • Improving long term and short term memory
  • Improving concentration and attention
  • Improving motivation
  • Improving self esteem and feelings of competency
  • Improving awareness of abilities
  • Decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Providing opportunities to express and explore feelings
  • Promoting independence
  • Promoting sensory stimulation
  • Including physical aspects (co-ordination, motor planning)

  • Activities should draw on remaining abilities and knowledge.
  • Select activities which provide cognitive and sensory stimulation and which entertain
  • Choose activities which involve very few steps, and lead the patient through them one by one.
  • Try to avoid activities that the patient perceives as childish, but keep in mind that as the disease advances, children’s picture books and games may be used.
  • Be creative in devising activities and remember that what works today, may not work tomorrow.
  • Don’t feel that you have to keep the patient busy all day.
  • Don’t shy away from giving the patient “busy work” if it calms them down and occupies their time.
  • Activities must be meaningful to the person.
  • Activities should be done at a time which coincides with the person’s optimal level of functioning.
  • Prepare a safe work area. Ensure it is uncluttered with a minimum of distractions and noise.
  • Activities should re-establish old roles. Make use of habitual, over-learned tasks (cooking, gardening, etc.).

  • Try to focus on familiar skills or tasks.
  • Give simple choices where possible. Don’t tell person what to do.
  • Allow time to respond.
  • Repeat instructions exactly the same way.
  • Break down the task into small steps.
  • Modify the steps as the person becomes more impaired.
  • Praise sincerely for success.

  • Play old tunes (e.g. from the war years, Frank Sinatra etc.).
  • Play classical music.
  • Play seasonal or holiday music.
  • Play religious music (e.g. church hymns).

  • drawing,  painting and colouring in
  • cutting and pasting onto a collage
  • potato printing
  • knitting and crocheting
  • adult colouring books
  • soft clay for moulding (non-toxic),
  • seasonal decorations (e.g. Christmas decorations)

  • buttons, beads, envelopes
  • give them a basket of towels and socks to sort out
  • match socks
  • sort pens and pencils

  • games with words – opposites, spelling, end familiar sayings, general knowledge
  • games with numbers – dominoes (floor dominoes are big with pictures)
  • table games – snap, snakes and ladders, card games
  • games with letters – scrabble, jumbled alphabet
  • memory games – matching cards, tray, colours

  • caring for a pet
  • doing something for others
  • preparing for a part, cleaning up

  • folding washing,
  • separating socks,
  • peeling vegetables cooking, baking, gardening, washing and drying up dusting, sweeping, wiping tables caring for pets, sorting items flower arranging putting plastic lids with correct containers

 

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