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Activities to do while in the same room as a belligerent screaming person (memory care unit)


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Hi everyone I’m new here I do not have a certificate but I’m currently working as an activities person  for an assisted living. I  am in the Memory Care Unit and we have a lady in the commons who is constantly screaming belligerent sayings at the top of her lungs to the staff and other residents. It’s impossible to talk over her and  I’m trying to find things I can do with the other residents majority of them are late end stage dementia or Alzheimer’s who really don’t want to do anything. I have 2-4 people that will actually do something depending on the activity and I’m in sore need of some ideas. They can’t take her to her room because she is a high fall risk.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Fireflight,

Have you tried engaging the screaming lady? Maybe giving her something useful to do, such as folding newsletters or other papers, filing random papers in manilla folders, something so she feels like you need her help. 

Have you talked to her or her family to get an idea of her interests? For example if she was passionate about gardening, give her dirt and pots, seeds, etc.

As far as the other people in the group, maybe some activities that don't take a lot of explanation: puzzles, coloring, sorting playing cards, folding towels.

Hope these ideas help!


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  • 2 months later...

Suggestions- begin with the enhancing the general environment, focusing on accessing long term memory and thinking about all 5 senses:

*famous art, plants/flowers, nature images, change the light levels with lamps/opening and closing blinds at different times, go outside for 'nature walk'

*aromatherapy oil ( out of reach on a paper towel is fine ) baking smells, herbs, fresh air, decaf coffee

*musicals, entertainment program, sing-alongs, periods of quiet/calm, eliminate 'confusing noise' such as background radio/tv, water fountain ( or sound machine )

*fabrics, hand massage, painting, finger-knitting

*food/beverage themed days, 'fizzy water', recipes from the 40s and 50s and 60s

'Activity stations' can be useful and a 'fresh eyes' look around. 

There's a 'dollar king' store here where all kinds of 'potentially interesting' things can be purchased for $1.39: knee blankets, crafts, helium balloon with theme, hats etc

Look for free magazines at the grocery store entrance and library. There's one here called 'Pet Talk' has great pictures and articles. 

As things open up post-pandemic invite volunteers to come in and do their activities alongside providing companionship and reminiscence.

Actual pets and babies/small children are 'the best therapy'!

Look for small signs of engagement- eye contact, toe tapping, smiles, singing, conversation, mirroring behaviors. Keep talking and smiling even if there is little response.

Good luck!




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