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  1. Independence for Alzheimer’s Residents When someone has Alzheimer’s with presenting dementia, their cognitive function continues to decline but they still posses’ abilities. In fact, skilled healthcare professionals know that continuing to do as much as they can do at their current ability level stimulates the brain and may even help to maintain skills longer. However, family members unknowingly often cause “excess disability” when in their sincere earnest to be helpful, do everything for his/her loved one to make life less challenging for the dementia diagnosed individual. Excess Disability - “Use it or lose it” When you provide opportunities for residents to do for themselves it prevents those intrinsically rooted skills from becoming rusty and ultimately no longer useable. It cannot be overstated how important purposeful activities are when discussing dementia and topics referencing motivation and engagement. Purposeful activities focused on interests work harmoniously to entice and elicit responses essential to maintain the “use it or lose it” concept. As dementia progresses, older adults are capable of less and less. Helping them find self-motivated desires to participate in everyday tasks and activities can boost mood and improve quality of life and holds the power to raise self-esteem and reduce common dementia behaviors, like agitation, repeated questions, and anger. Adapting everyday tasks with purposeful meaning for the individual diagnosed with dementia will entice and encourage mental stimulation, and provide support as needed to help older adults maintain a sense of independence and accomplishment and that is something everyone of us strive to maintain for as long as it possible. Why Are Dementia Activities So Important? 1. Provides Daily Structure: A structured and consistent daily routine gives needed predictability and stability when the individual is feeling disoriented and confused. 2. Prevents Decline: Continuing to do as many activities and daily tasks as independently as possible helps to preserve innate skills for a longer period of time despite disease progression. 3. Improves Mood: The individuals capabilities continue to decline with disease progression. When individuals participate in everyday tasks can boost mood and improve overall quality of life. 4. Reduce Challenging Behaviors: Challenging behaviors present with less occurrence when opportunities are made available to engage the individual in positive oriented everyday distractions. Thereby, providing a means to release energy and unexpressed emotions. Supporting Remaining Skills Look for adaptive strategies & techniques that focus on strengths/skills that the individual still possesses. Allow the individual to retain as much control as possible to help foster a sense of personal dignity. Integrate “chunking” methods - (break down tasks step by step) move to the next task in the sequence only when the previous one has been completed. Attention span may be 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; first day – taste applesauce, next day – taste apple pie, and so on (connects related theme to facilitate memory input). Incorporate events that “elicit” a response through use of basic sensory stimulation & awareness of his/her body movements. Strategies and Techniques Meeting the individual abilities will ensure greater success. Particularly when maintaining the overall goal to support opportunities for independence and accomplishment. Set-Up: Pre-plan what is needed in a manner that cues the resident to complete the task independently. Example: clothing – Place items in order of use: underwear and bra on top, shirt and pants under them. Visual Distance Supervision: Remain within the line of sight to supervise and assist when needed yet distant enough to allow the individual to complete on their own. Example: Drying dishes – stand within visual view to make sure the dishes are properly towel dried - replace the towel when it has become saturated with water. Non Verbal Prompting: Minimize verbal instructions, simply point to the next task in the sequence to give guidance. Example: Point to the place mat. When it is placed on the table, point to the plate or ask what’s next? Gentle Verbal Cues: Provide gentle verbal “cues” only as needed to prevent frustration by stating simply directions for task sequence, allow time as needed for the individual to complete one task before you offer another cue to move onto the next task. Example: Bathing – Pick up the washcloth… turn the faucet on… wet the washcloth. Physical Guidance: Use "hand over hand” or “mirror” techniques to help guide physical actions. Example: Brushing teeth: Stand behind and place your hand over the individuals hand while holding the toothbrush. Gentle provide physical guidance for brushing teeth. Note: “Excess disability” refers to the loss of an ability that comes from something other than the disease or impairment itself. In dementia care, this generally refers to the loss of abilities that go beyond the physiological changes that are caused by the dementia. You can become the catalyst to support your residents’ independence by proactively preserving your residents’ existing abilities to help them maintain their dignity, self-esteem and enjoy a well deserved quality of life experience well into their senior years and that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment! Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network. Copyright © 2021 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351
  2. Meaningful Memory Care Planning Individuals afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementia complications go through a number of different stages during the disease progression. Leisure pursuits are crucial for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease, particularly those which offer and encourage engagement opportunities and much needed cognitive stimulation. The Approach to discovering leisure pursuits to offer engagement and stimulation is the same as any resident assessment process with one very significant distinction: Look at what the resident can still do rather than what they can no longer do. Establish consistent routines. Why? The day is a little less scary when the daily pattern is predictable and somehow familiar. Many of us operate on autopilot whilst going about our daily business but memory deficits can cause a snafu in the normal retrieval process. Thus, even our firmly embedded auto pilot can malfunction. While structure and routine is important, there are countless opportunities to do “meaningful” things in unexpected places and times. Daily everyday tasks such as bed making, sweeping, dusting, and watering plants for example are small yet simple though they can provide rich opportunities for engaging residents who perhaps show no interest in bingo, movies, or other group activities. Planning Tips Continuously adjust and accommodate to match to the changing needs of the disease progression. Plan for times during the day when the resident tends to function at their best. Use adaptive strategies and techniques that focus on strengths/skills in which the individual still possesses. Allow the individual to retain as much control as possible to help foster a sense of personal dignity. Simplify tasks: break down step by step. Move to the next step in the sequence only when the first step has been accomplished. Attention span may be limited so plan programs in no more than 20 to 45 minutes segments. Programs are most effective when they are multi-sensory and 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 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 and 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) Proprioceptors* sensory receptors in muscles, joint capsules and surrounding tissues, that signal information to the central nervous system about position and movement of body parts. Activity Starters The following list has been provided as inspiration and motivation only. You will need to look at the individual resident with a Dx of Alzheimer’s to create a “person centered” care plan uniquely suited to the skills that remain and the specific stage of the disease as per nursing assessment. Stuffed Toys Offer stuffed animals and other soft toys to cuddle. Check for any materials that could be removed and become a choking hazard. Baby Dolls and Baby Doll Clothes Provides opportunity to foster nurturing characteristics. The goal is not to dress the doll properly, but rather to “elicit” the desire to change the doll’s clothing whilst working on hand eye coordination. Pet Therapy Animals of varying types are well documented to improve well being and boost emotional connection to something other than themselves. Music and 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. Sensory Sensory deprivation is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Use everyday objects to arouse one or more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch), with the goal of evoking positive feelings. Exercise Any physical activity can be beneficial, from a simple walk to yoga. Use props, such as tambourines, clappers, top hat, streamers, maracas, batons, pom poms, stretch bands, scarves, or stretch bands. Bird Watching Hang a bird feeder that will not allow individuals to access the food. Provide chairs or benches to stop and watch the birds. Sunshine and Fresh Air Plan time for the outdoors (weather permitting) for 10-15 minutes. Supply sun protection with wide brim hats and sun lotion on arms and legs. Avoid the sun between 11 and 3 pm. Offer 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. Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to celestechase@activitydirector.org Our MEPAP 1&2 Courses 2 Course Formats www.ActivityDirector.org - 1.888.238.0444 Structured Class (16 Weeks) - Begins the First Tuesday of each Month Self Paced Class (13 Weeks-1 Year) - Enroll and Begin Anytime Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network. Copyright © 2019 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351
  3. A Gift from : Paul Tedesco <htlk@comcast.net> There’s No Place Like (Nursing) Home – Stories of Dementia, Dying, and Peeing on the Christmas Tree Paul publishes non-fiction memoir to inspire caregivers. The book is free between January 23-25 on www.amazon.com , Kindle Store, if the link doesnt work, goto the Kindle Store and search for the title. (https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Place-Like-Nursing-Home-ebook/dp/B07899SL4F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516736109&sr=8-1&keywords=paul+tedesco). Paul Tedesco is a former pastor, counselor, and administrator at a human services organization, holding a Master of Divinity degree. He has been a trainer locally and nationally, a weekly columnist for The Catholic Spirit, a contributor to The National Catholic Reporter, and an invited headline guest on ABC 20/20 and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation radio network. There’s No Place Like (Nursing) Home – Stories of Dementia, Dying, and Peeing on the Christmas Tree: I have an Nh.D. Doctorate in Nursing Homes. I got it at the University of Experience. One day my mother moved into a nursing home. On another she died there. What happened in between changed my life. This is a book for my friends, almost all of whom I haven’t met. They, like me, are getting older. So are their parents. Many are or will end up in nursing homes. Most who do will die there. Whether my friends learn to smile in between can change their lives too. The book is a short folksy memoir, a compendium of stories about what I saw, learned, and felt, and how I learned to smile again, then and now. Three-part dementia-inspired operas will do that. So will listening to a saintly mom call a white nurse a “honky.” I found laughter amidst my tears. I also found serenity for a troubled soul. So can my friends. URL: www.paultedescoauthor.com Please contact: Paul Tedesco, 412-327-8078, htlk@comcast.net For Free Kindle App: KINDLE Store https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Place-Like-Nursing-Home-ebook/dp/B07899SL4F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516736109&sr=8-1&keywords=paul+tedesco
  4. Olympics between nursing homes: starting January 29th! Winter Olympics arrives ! From January 29 to February 9, 2018, join the Winter Olympics of Nursing Homes! In July, more than 230 nursing homes competed in this worldwide competition! Several institutions will take part in a challenge based on general culture questions. Seniors will be asked to answer 32 questions per day, 16 very easy and 16 more difficult, to give all residents a chance to participate. Residents will play as a team on a tablet-based application created just for the occasion by DYNSEO. Displayed on a television screen, facilities can create an exhilarating animation and even involve their families! Nursing homes, retirement homes, assisted living facilities, memory care centers… All institutions can participate. Sign up to the Winter Olympics Spread over 12 days, the contest is played on 10 sets of 32 questions. If you miss a day, you will have the opportunity to catch up with the questions another day. In a series of 32 questions, there are 16 easy questions and 16 more difficult questions, to allow all residents to join in the fun regardless of knowledge level. HOW TO PARTICIPATE ? To participate in these Olympics you need: – An Android tablet Optional – A Wi-Fi connection : to follow your ranking – A television : to project your tablet on a big screen COST TO PARTICIPATE Free participation for the first edition By participating in the contest you get free of charge our tablet memory games program for the duration of the Olympiads : The best way to train your team ! TO WIN The first three positions will receive prizes. First place will win a one-year subscription to Stim'Art, our cognitive stimulation program. Second place will win the Rolling Ball, our new app to work attention and motor skills. Third place will win Dynseo Family, a service platform to promote exchanges between seniors and their families in a simplified way. CROWD FAVORITE PRIZE Each institution will be able to submit their favorite photos of residents playing! The institution with the most likes will also earn a one-year subscription. A stimulating, cultural and creative experience of connections With its expertise in cognitive and cultural stimulation developed through extensive collaboration with nursing homes, DYNSEO offers questions of general culture adapted to their generations as well as their abilities. Connections between residents will be strengthened, encouraging team spirit and communication, as well as relationship between seniors and caregivers. All nursing homes, retirement homes, assisted living, and memory care centers are invited to participate! Sign up to the Winter Olympics FOLLOW US Find all our news and our different applications of cognitive games and social link on tablet. Like our pages, it makes us happy! DYNSEO, cognitive games apps and social link on tablet intended for seniors in nursing homes. 0033 9 66 93 84 22 curieux@dynseo.com www.dynseo.com
  5. The March issue of Discover magazine has a front page article on Alzheimer's. Some of it is basic stuff most of us probably already know, but it also includes new research. You can see more details here: http://discovermagazine.com/2015/march
  6. Visit http://www.tymtest.com/ ////////////////////////////////////////// NOTE: This website is for health professionals only The TYM testThe TYM test is a new cognitive test comprising of 10 tasks presented on 2 sides of a single sheet of soft card. Most people take about 5 minutes to complete the TYM. The test can be completed under supervision from a health professional. The maximum score is 50/50. The average TYM score for normal individuals is 47/50 up until the age of 70 years and then there is a small decline. The TYM test has several features which should help the diagnosis and management of patients with memory problems: The patient fills in the test themselves. This saves time. The TYM test is a permanent self-written record of a patient’s achievement on a certain date and can be referred back to. The TYM tests 10 different cognitive domains including anterograde memory, semantic knowledge and visuospatial skills which are typically affected early in Alzheimer’s disease. There is a very clear distinction between the scores of normal controls (average 47/50) and patients with mild AD (average 33/50). A cut off of 42 has a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 86% in the diagnosis of AD in our study. It is powerful in detecting mild Alzheimer's disease detecting 93% of cases in our study. The results of giving the TYM test to 139 patients with organic memory problems and 540 controls has been published in the BMJ (ref: 2009;338:b2030) – www.bmj.com
  7. THERAPEUTIC MUSIC CDS FALL SALE These 3 music CDs are recommended for : Activity Directors, Nursing, Medical/Physician, Psychology, Sociology, Human Services, Religion/Pastoral Care, Hospice, Gerontology, Social Work, Alternative Therapies, Massage Therapy, Music Therapy, Funeral Services, End-of-Life education, and more! Tranquility-Harp for the Soul- Recommended for meditation, relaxation, sleep. Excellent for Alzheimers/Dementia residents. Improvised, soothing melodies on the therapy harp. All CDs performed by a well known Music Thanatologist. SALE PRICE FOR ALL 3 CDs- $30 (A savings of $20!) FREE S/H! FREE BOOK WITH ORDER! Send Check, Money Order, (Purchase order to goodendings@msn.com) (We dont take credit cards)to: Donalyn Gross, Ph.D., LCSW, CMP 189 Porter Lake Drive Springfield, MA 01106 413-733-8592 (Formerly of Cinnabar Press, P.O. Box 60501, Longmeadow, MA 01116)
  8. Raising Funds for Alzheimer’s Dementia Research The National Senior League (NSL) announced today that on July 16th it will host a National Senior Wii Bowling Day to benefit research into Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as related projects. The NSL hopes to set a world record for the most senior Wii bowlers participating on a single day, asking Wii bowlers to roll a single game on July 16th. Each bowler will be ask to contribute $5 to be donated through the NSL to research into devastating diseases, including Alzheimer’s. In addition, the NSL will ask individuals and corporations to donate $1 for each recorded strike. Dennis Berkholtz, started the NSL four years ago with the mission of providing senior’s with a fun, competitive and social environment and with the ultimate goal of raising money for Alzheimer’s/dementia. Berkholtz’s father suffered from dementia. “Using the NSL to raise funds for Alzheimer’s/dementia is my way of honoring my father for raising a great family and giving me the opportunity to achieve success both in sports and business,” said Berkholtz. The NSL has established the NSL-ALZ Foundation to manage the fund raising efforts. The foundation will support Alzheimer’s/dementia research and support programs focused on the importance of early detection. It will also work to develop a program to recognize and honor Alzheimer’s/dementia caretakers with a vacation break from caretaker responsibilities. The NSL-ALZ Foundation is working closely with the Atlanta based NeuroScience Foundation whose mission is to support research to accelerate treatments that significantly improve the lives of people suffering from devastating diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Stroke. “We are honored to be chosen as a recipient of the day’s fundraising activities, and delighted to see the commitment of the National Senior League to support Alzheimer’s research,” said Susie Brown, Executive Director of the NeuroScience Foundation. The National Senior Wii Bowling Day will target the 115,000 communities in the senior industry many of which have Wii bowling programs. Over the past three years of managing Wii bowling championships, the NSL has provided competition for Independent Senior Living Communities, CCRC’s, Assisted Living Communities, Nursing Homes, Rehab Centers, Senior Centers and Affordable Housing Communities. More than 225 communities and over 2,000 Wii bowlers have played in the NSL (www.nslgames.com). For more information and to support National Senior Wii Bowling Day visit www.nsl-alzheimer’s.org Brochure : NSL-ALZ Press Release.pdf
  9. Hello! I would like to let know about Memory Mats which is a new company within the healthcare industry. Aimed at Activity Directors for creation and purchase within the homes. Memory Mats are just what you think they might be! Beautiful personalized mats that have your residents photos on them to help with reminiscing therapy and consistant recollection. The online website is easy to use to create a mat and 10% of your purchases are donated back to your resident council. Memory Mats are a way to help the aging population remember people, places and things. They also give back 10% to Alzheimer's Research! The cost of a mat is $20.00 which is a great price for the benefits they come with: Programming one on one's Group activities for creating mats Spill proof Washable Infection control friendly Builds patient/staff relationship Families love that homes are sharing life stories in a creative way Nursing staff can bring to resident when agitated or sundowning Conversation starters Reminiscing therapy Visit www.memorymats.org for more information.
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