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  1. ALS can develop an unusual symptom called “pseudobulbar affect.” Crying or laughter at inappropriate times that is difficult to shut off. Pseudobulbar affect is the result of a brain reflex that is no longer working correctly. It does not necessarily mean that a person is feeling anxious, sad, depressed, or emotionally distraught. Pseudobulbar affect may manifest yet there are no other cognitive, behavioral, or psychological symptoms. Simplify communications and break sentences up into short phrases. Ask yes/no questions. Slow down when speaking. Most importatly, look for the meaning behind the emotions - - misinterpreting ALS communications only adds to resident fustrations. Check his history for his preferences for leisure pursuits and partner with therapy professionals to get creative in finding new ways to allow him to keep doing what he did before the disease onset. Look to add activities that create a diversion from his disease yet help him on the path towards well-being. Add "fun" physical wellness oriented activities and work with P.T. and O.T. and S.T (speech therapy) to incorporate activities that involve low impact exercises to enhance cardiovascular fitness. Include breathing exercises activities in the daily routine as respiratory muscles may get weaker. Occupational therapy can help with ideas to maintain independence by learning new ways to compensate for hand and arm weaknesses and speech therapy can suggest alternate adaptive techniques for communicating - perhaps computer-based communications. The loss from this disease is profound but you can support his emotional wellness as the activity professional through activities that are intended to allow him to feel that he still has some control over his body.
  2. How many men do you have? How many men do you think you need to have to create male related activities? If you are not planning anything for the gents, you would be failing to provide 'person centered' activities required by current regulations. Could those few men you have get together to create their own special club? Can you solicit male volunteers to sit with the guys to share stories, talk about sports, create a collector's club? Take the time to review their comprehensive assessment to learn more about their careers, past leisure pursuits, family, etc. - You are bound to come up with ideas for activities in which they would participate. You can do it!
  3. Men of the generation that are currently residencts in LTC now were once responsible for household earnings to put food on the table and give them shelter. Now that they are no longer expected to toll for the pay, they tend to feel like they no longer have a purpose; ultimately they need to feel useful again. Asking them if they would like to be responsible for doing things around the facility that would help others would given them a purpose again. Review their comprehensive assessments and make an inventory of past careers, hobbies, leisure pursuits. Focus on the skills that still remain and put them to use. Most importantly - give them praises often and if possible publically so they enjoy the praises from others as well. good work.
  4. Hello Danielle, You wrote that you are a department of women - consider eliciting male volunteers to run gender appropriate activities. You can reach out to community senior centers, local libraries, town hall representatives, local car or bridge clubs and even finding resources through local real estate professionals. (Real estate pros are always looking for ways to self promote and connect within the community to generate future leads for home sales). Dont' forget to connect with local colleges for possible internships. Many schools require community service outreach as part of education. Glad you enjoyed the read.
  5. Pleased that this article gave you good ideas... You will also find greater success in terms of participation when your focus is on "matching" previous lifestyle pursuits and interests (identified from a comprehensive history review) to the many potential ideas and suggestions out there to incorporate in your calendar. You are not simply filling idle time - you are looking for something that is meaningful. Truth be told - I have seen increased participation and interest from the gents in the group whenever the event leader is also a gentleman. Thus, I have always promoted male volunteers and other male professionals to lead events to support that fellowship and camaraderie. This further supports person centered programming. Over the years we are seeing more and more gents joining both skilled nursing and support staff fields in healthcare creating a more balanced and diversified support system...and that is a really great thing !
  6. Activities for Alzheimer’s – Cliff Notes M. Celeste Chase, AC-BC, ACC, CDP Look for adaptive strategies & techniques that focus on strengths/skills that the individual still posses Allow the individual to retain as much control possible to help foster a sense of personal dignity Integrate “chunking” methods - (simplify tasks -> break down step by step) Attention span may have limited so plan programs of no more than 20 to 45 minutes of time segments. Programs are most effective when they are multi-sensory & spanned over consecutive days (facilitate memory input) and are connected to a related theme. Remember: Loss of memory creates an inability for the individual to remember what they did in the past thus, cannot use that input for themselves to find amusement. However, this population may still have the ability to [be amused] well into the disease process. Incorporate events that “elicit” a response through use of basic sensory stimulation & awareness of his/her body movements. Sensory Integration would focus on any combination of the following: Visual (eyes) Auditory (ears Proprioceptors (awareness of body position) Vestibular (balance) Tactile (touch, feel) Olfaction (smell) Gustatory (taste) Sensory Books Provide colorful & tactile sensory books to look at and touch. Stuffed Toys Offer stuffed toys to cuddle. Baby dolls – baby doll clothes Provides opportunity to fosters nurturing characteristics. The goal is not to dress the doll properly, but rather to “elicit” the desire to change the doll’s clothing whilist working on hand eye coordination. 4. Pet Therapy Animals of varying types are well documented to improve well being and boost emotional connection to something other than themselves. Hand Massage Give your client a hand massage with lotion and a few drops of essential oils. Physical Contact Brush hair, hold hands. Photo Albums Share personal family photo albums. Focus is not on accurate name recall of family members but rather in the sense of connection with others. Sensory Bean Bags Provide small bean bags made of different fabric textures: cotton, velvet and silk, and filled with different grains. Music & Movies Foster emotional connections via music, videos, and movies. Keep the time frame brief, only watch/listen for 5 to 10 minutes but if they are engaged, keep allowing them to enjoy the experience for long as continue to be engaged. 10. Scent stimulation Provide diffusers to filter favorite scents throughout the room. 11. Bird watching Hang a bird feeder that will not allow individuals to access the food. Provide chairs or benches to stop & watch the birds 12. Sunshine & fresh air Plan time for the outdoors (weather permitting) supply sun protection with wide brim hats, and sun lotion on arms and legs. Avoid the sun between 11 and 3 pm. Offer plenty cool drinks. Read Aloud Studies reveal that those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease may be able to hear until very late into the illness. Read articles in magazines and newspapers that the person enjoyed in former times. Sight Stimulation Change the visuals inside bedrooms on a regular basis: posters, pot plants, family photographs, fresh flowers, mobiles and celebration decorations to make the person feel loved, and included. Watch a game of Sports This is a great opportunity for a theme related program. Decorate the room with the colors of their favorite team. Entice gustatory sensory (taste) recall with a “tailgate” typically food event. Provide sporting equipment to touch, feel and smell. Sing part of a sports anthem and see if you get any signs of recognition. Bring in enlarged pictures of famous sports people to show and talk about.
  7. OBRA '87 requires every LTC facility to have a Resident Council it is the political voice of those that reside in the facility. Required positions on the council are president, vice president and secretary/treasurer. Residents need to approve any staff member or visitor to attend these meetings. The President is the spokesperson for the council & the chairperson keeps the minutes (copy to the Admin.). The Activity or Social Service staff is usually the chairperson.The chairperson is responsible for scheduling the monthly meeting, announcing the meeting & posting an invitations, creating the agenda, facilitating the meeting. Most importantly, taking any issues & concerns to the responsible depart. head for review & resolution. Meetings begin with attendance and recognition of each member. Review of last month's minutes including resolutions to each issue addressed Department heads speak on any issues that may have previously noted as a resident concern Review one or two specific resident rights Review of one or more quality of life issues Reminder of the right to review the past year's survey results and where they are located Discussion of activity planning (to include residents voice in monthly planning) Voting issues (if time appropriate) Open forum - residents voice opinions & offer additional info. or recommendations for group projects Note: every six months or so review with council members all concerns/grievances that were previously identified & determine if they are still pending concerns; surveyors will want to know that there are ongoing attempts to address concerns some ideas for council projects: welcome cards, visits to new residents, employee of the month awards, invitations to outside speakers, council newsletter, and the list goes on and on. This is the general template but your documentation needs to reflect that residents voice is heard and resident rights are supported within the facility. Hope that helps!
  8. Interesting to note that I did not find relevant information specific to Activity Director burnout while searching online. Can anyone find any useful information on the topic???
  9. Yes - "thinking out of the box" ...self value may be in the eyes of the beholder! TY for your reply.
  10. Glad to know that this article resonated with you. The article information has hopefully offered you a sense of having your own personal internal ability to stay positive and satisfied in the work that you do! Best .....
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