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Are crayons allowed by state in alzheimer's facility?

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I was hired a couple of months ago to work as an activity director in an alzheimer's facility. I have just enrolled in a class to get "qualified", but have little knowledge yet of rules or policy. Recently, as I have started to implement a craft program, I was told that I am not allowed to use crayons because the state surveyor (out of Texas) does not like them. I'm to use only map markers. They said because crayons are juvenile and we are not to treat the residents as children. Is this for real, or does this sound just plain crazy? Please help. My residents love crayons and I hate to throw them all away and/or risk getting written up.

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One of my pet peeves is seeing the elderly treated as children, but not allowing them to use the crayons that THEY want to use is taking this concept off into the wrong direction. I suggest you pick up a couple of packages of water color markers and colored pencils at your local dollar store and have them available for the residents to use along with the crayons. Have all of these on the craft table during the activity and let the residents choose which they want to use. Also, document if the residents prefer crayons over markers or pencils; this will hopefully protect you from being cited.


One reason that the residents may prefer crayons is that as someone progresses throught the stages of Alzheimer's, they tend to regress back to an earlier time in their life. Markers were probably not even in existence when the residents were younger and, therefore, they are simply used to using a crayon for coloring something in. If crayons are the residents choice, they should be allowed to use them. Sometimes staff at a facility will present an activity or address a resident in a way that would be more appropriate for children; this is where you can be cited. BUT if a resident WANTS to play with a doll, draw with a crayon or sleep with a teddy bear, they should be allowed to. Just be sure to document.

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I have never heard of any such thing. I can honestly say I love to use crayons myself and have had many residents that rather use them. Also it seems to help residents with a tremors, the wax goes smooth where a color pencil looks a mess. Plus the large ones are easy to grip. Best rule is give choices.

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