The most challenging time of day for us is during the late afternoon fatigue that we used to know as sundowning. We have had a group called Gathering Time for a few years now. This group is held to keep residents who are restless, at risk of falling, exiting, etc in the late afternoon safe. We need some new ideas that recall familiarity and will calm some, while others get stimulation. Typically, we have some kind of video going in one corner of the dining room for interested folks to watch, we serve refreshments, and have smaller hands on groups or individual projects, but we sure could use some successful ideas.
We have so much snow, our kids' easter egg hunt will be inside again. We have kids from families and staff come in to hunt for filled plastic eggs that are hidden all over the home. I put little slips of paper into 6 of the eggs for special prizes at the end. The kids have enjoyed the hunt, and so have some of the wanderers! We plant grass in quart size plastic paint containers about 2 weeks before Easter and use the grass as a live Easter basket centerpiece on tables. We wrap the containers with Easter basket cellophane after will fill the baskets with a few eggs. The staff and residents sneak into them at meal time..which is what we secretly intend anyway.
copy and paste this questionnaire so we can get to know each other better and have fun!
What is your name? Kathy Taylor but the residents know me as "Mimi"
What is your occupation? Activities Director, LNA, consultant for AD.com
•What are you listening to right now? the news
• What was the last thing you ate? an Empire apple
•Do you wish on stars? Sometimes
•If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Tomato Red
•How is the weather right now? Rainy and 38 degrees
•Last person you spoke to on the phone? My daughter Jenny
•How old are you today? my chronological age is almost 52, but I feel 43
•Favorite drink? Non-alcohol: Diet Tonic Water w/Lime Alcohol: Georges deBouef Beaujolais
•Favorite sport(s) to watch? Football, baseball & golf..
•Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, for years.. first for fun, and now for the fun of covering the grey!
•Do you wear contacts or glasses? glasses, I have a million pairs of reading glasses
•Pets? a cat - Purdy
•Favorite month? hmm..late April.. mid October.. love spring with no bugs, and the smell of autumn
•Favorite food? a juicy burger cooked on the grill, with toppings that smush out of the good bread bun..all eaten with big helping of great conversation
•What was the last movie you watched? the Sixth Sense..
•Favorite day of the year? Thanksgiving
•Fall or Spring? I love both
•When was the last time you cried? a week ago..
•What did you do last night? Helped my granddaughter with a school paper.
•What inspires you? A little of everyone
•What are you afraid of? driving.. I have a horrible phobia
•Favorite car? red volksqagen beetle
•Favorite dog breed? I love mutts
•How many years at your current job? 4, 2 years as the AD
•How many states have you lived in? 2 NH & Wyoming, when I was a baby
•How many cities/towns have you lived in? Cheyenne, Jaffrey, Rindge, then back to Jaffrey..
As the Activities Director, I wear my name tag that states that I am the director. When the corporate persons come to visit, I will dress what I like to call a little more "she-she-fah-fah" (sweater, jewelry, nice shoes..maybe a skirt, jacket..) but for every day, when I am out and about with the residents, I wear colorful tops, jumpers, skirts, lots of times, my white socks and oxford shoes or even my corduroy sneakers. The residents LOVE to see what we are wearing, and we need to be prepared to play ball, get under the table, help someone who needs a tissue, feed someone (?), strap a wheelchair down in the bus.. You get what I am saying... If all I did was sit behind the desk, and go to meetings every day, all day, I could wear the business clothes. I am sensitive to when I need to look the 'professional part', but for most days, I try to look like I am about to have some fun, because I am. I think my favorite thing to wear, and the residents make the most comments.. a skirt, red roper boots, a red turtleneck, and a wide leather belt that hooks..it has lots of silver on it, and the residents can see it well from their wheelchair eye level view. Most will comment on my outfits and say, "Wow, you look good today" " I like that color"...other times, the mother in them will come out, and they will spare nothing in the critique..
I wondered about the seizure disorder part, Mashonda.. I have an issue with light sensitivity seizures. Our Administrator keeps talking about setting up a Snoezelen room, and I know that for residents with dementia, the lights can have a calming effect, but I don't think that I would be able to go into the room. I will have to continue researching that one..
I actually did a research paper on BINGO, and found out that it is beneficial in more ways than one! Being with other people, the competitive edge, the fine motor skills that are required to pick up the chips and place them on a number, multitasking to take care of several cards, remembering what the caller said, just the act of looking at the numbers..we have several residents with macular degeneration who would never think of having what I call a bingo buddy to help them out. The game keeps the brain young by exercising it. We just had a marathon week of bingo every day.. crackerjack bingo, scratch ticket bingo, grab bag bingo, pick a number bingo, family bingo, secret envelope bingo, and just a plain ol' bingo game. The game does drive us all crazy, but we're there for the residents, and they love it. I love watching the residents help each other one minute, and then..watch out if the one they help wins twice in a row, and they haven't won a game, yet. One of my residents with dementia loves to be the one who will sort the cards and set up the chips, and despite having been diagnosed with dementia, he remembers who gets the blue chips and who gets the special basket of red, etc. One resident who neither reads nor writes is in charge of spinning the balls and handing them to the caller. It appears to be an important job for her as she blesses herself before the first spin of every game. And, that's why we're there..assist the residents in the pursuit of their happiness
We are going to have a service in our chapel, and have a blessing of the volunteers hands. Our gift to them will be a nice bottle of quality hand lotion. They spend so much time usin their hands to give, (and washing them over and over!) After the service, we will have a social with fruits, cheeses, and little cupcakes.
Have you taken the workshop at Activitydirector.org? There's great information to print out to take in and do an inservice. If we show the rest of the staff how much they are doing already to help out, maybe it will be easier...For instance..Olive Ewe loves to read the paper, and hear about what is going on in the world. Is she up and dressed and toileted, ready to go to current events? That is the nursing assistant's job. It starts at 9:30. Has the nurse given Olive her meds beforehand, so that she will not interrupt Olive during the activity, when she is trying to listen? What about the escort that Olive will need to get to current events? The activity staff is busy getting others to the event, but a housekeeper is nearby, and knows that Olive likes to be there, and for the minute it takes, she can bring Olive to the activity room. Late at night, when John is awake, as he is most nights, restless, because he cannot sleep, a nursing assistant can take out a sensory box, kept near the nurse's station..maybe there's a pair of shoes he can 'polish', or if there is a night watchman making rounds, maybe John can go with him for part of the rounds to 'help'. The receptionist at the front desk, who has a resident help sort mail..all this is part of the team becoming involved. They probably already do it, we just need to show them that, and ask them to pick one more thing that they could do. Ever have the power go off...in the middle of a meal? Watch how everyone pulls together, and does extra... they are great at that. We just have to remind them that they are great at working together every day, and we need them .
What is your name? Kathleen "Mimi" Taylor :-)
What is your occupation? ADC at longterm care facility
•What are you listening to right now? Adult alternative radio
• What was the last thing you ate? Veggie Phyllo at a restaurant
•Do you wish on stars? no, I wish on eyelashes, and time, like when it is 11:11
•If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red
•How is the weather right now? 64 muggy, and rainy
•Last person you spoke to on the phone? daughter in South Carolina
•How old are you today? 51 chronologically, 43 in my head (that was my best year) ;-)
•Favorite drink? Non-alcohol: really really good coffee Alcohol: red wine <grin>
•Favorite sport(s) to watch? superbowl
•Have you ever dyed your hair?for years.. I like spicing up my life as a redhead
•Do you wear contacts or glasses? ah, after reaching the age of 50 bifocals are a must!
•Pets? had a little beta fish,Sensei on my desk. He's gone now, and buried in my geraniums
•Favorite month? October, I love autumn
•Favorite food? Ice cream
•What was the last movie you watched? oh my..it HAS been a long time.. Shallow Hal, I think..
•Favorite day of the year? Thanksgiving
•Fall or Spring? Fall
•When was the last time you cried? Last Sunday morning. I didn't want to say goodbye to someone special
•What did you do last night? Went out to a retirement dinner with the Dept Heads, for our Social Services person who is leaving.
•What inspires you? Being noticed and needed
•What are you afraid of? Hate to admit it.. driving :-(
•Favorite car? Well, if I was driving, I would love a Volkswagen Beetle
•Favorite dog breed? Basset hound
•How many years at your current job? just about 3 years
•How many states have you lived in? 2 mostly NH, but Wyoming for a bit when my dad was in the service years ago
•How many cities/towns have you lived in? 3, the one town in Wyoming, and 2 back here in NH