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activity with dementia rsds

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i need ideas for rsds who dont want to come to activities because they dont want to be socialbe or they are not patient , dementia does anyone have suggestions for me besides one on ones

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music and pets and children break the ice!


Some people don't want to 'come to activities' they need to be engaged by what is going on before they will participate. Some people need to feel they are being helpful or useful, I often ask people in my music groups 'will you come help me...'


Having children visit and take things round, pictures or something, most people respond automatically to a child. Or a pet.

A music activity somewhere central in the building will draw attention or the person can participate at a distance.


The more of a comfort zone someone has the more they are likely to join in even if they're not particularly motivated to do so.


That includes their right to refuse to participate- I have noticed at my weekly groups almost everyone will participate some because I make it very easy for people to wander in and out and feel free to come and go at the fringe, whilst the core group is fully engaged in the centre.


I find it easier if I know the seniors well, then I know which people respond best to being 'enclosed' by the layout, and who needs to feel reassured they can make a 'quick getaway'!


Once someone knows and trusts me they are more likely to participate, and I have some pretty big music groups now, but some of the participants merely dance through once in a while, and some like to sit in an adjoining corridor for example.

I can tell if they are enjoying it by small movements of hands or feet or head- not everyone responds the same but it's still beneficial effect.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I find that sometimes small ventures out of the room work as a beginning for the reluctant resident. I might say something like, "I know that you are not interested in group activities right now, but I'd like to take you for a tour around the building". Sometimes it helps if they are already out of the room - maybe for a meal? I'll offer to take them back and say something like I bet you didn't know there are a couple of ways to get to your room, shall we try another route?" Or, I might say, "Have you seen the back yard patio, would you just like to take a peek before we go back to your room. I promise you won't have to stay."


I have volunteers who visit one to one who have a long term goal of getting residents out of their rooms and into activities. Dementia residents are more likely to go with someone with whom they have established a relationship.


Approach, approach. It is always important, especially for dementia residents.. Sometimes, I'll say. "Its time for exercise. I'm here to bring you." They can still refuse, but they are not needing to make a choice. They can go with the flow if it is easier. Linda M.

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  • 1 month later...

To help people get out of their rooms, after I establish a relationship, I will ask if they would help me deliver the mail to the other residents. They hold it and I "drive." I park them outside the door and I will go into the room. If they know each other we will both go into the room and chat briefly. They feel useful and we have a great time together.

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  • 1 month later...

I have had the same problem too :) Getting them to want to come is a challenge but once you have them commited and there it gets easy!


Whenever I have a social that contains food (usually on Saturdays) i find it to be the most attended activity of the week... Once you have your residents there and happy and eating they won't want to leave... as long as you keep them busy!


I also found if you ask them for their help they'll want to come and help you! i.e "I have so many letters to mail out today can you please help me put the stamps and labels on" or "For some reason all the markers have the wrong lid on, can you help me" or "Wow would you look at the time, it's almost lunch can you help me fold the napkins" When they feel needed they are couraged to help you... if you keep them busy they won't have a reason to want to go back to their room and hide

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