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Activities for Vision Impaired

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I'm a recreation assistant at a large retirement community (ALF and Independent Living Community). Several of our ALF residents' families have requested "more activities for residents with severely impaired vision."

 

Our current daily activities include games (both visual and oral), exercise, socials, video concerts, live music, pet therapy, mind challenge/trivia, therapeutic spa activities, outings, arts & crafts, cooking demonstrations, holiday events, current events/news, and more than I can write! Our limited staff somehow provides engaging activities 7 days a week for a minimum of 12 hours a day.

 

I am a little confused on what else I can plan because I feel we have so many activities that can be easily enjoyed no matter what the resident's vision is.... any suggestions would be helpful. Since we have so many residents to consider, the activity must be enjoyable for those without vision impairment. Thanks for your assistance.

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I'm a recreation assistant at a large retirement community (ALF and Independent Living Community). Several of our ALF residents' families have requested "more activities for residents with severely impaired vision."

 

Our current daily activities include games (both visual and oral), exercise, socials, video concerts, live music, pet therapy, mind challenge/trivia, therapeutic spa activities, outings, arts & crafts, cooking demonstrations, holiday events, current events/news, and more than I can write! Our limited staff somehow provides engaging activities 7 days a week for a minimum of 12 hours a day.

 

I am a little confused on what else I can plan because I feel we have so many activities that can be easily enjoyed no matter what the resident's vision is.... any suggestions would be helpful. Since we have so many residents to consider, the activity must be enjoyable for those without vision impairment. Thanks for your assistance.

 

Sometimes families make comments b/c the resident complains to them "I can't do anything b/c I can't see". Just re-assure residents and families that adaptations are made so that most programs are adaptable for the visually impaired and point out which ones and how. (i.e. Live entertainment can be enjoyed without seeing the show, or how during exercise verbal instructions are given along with the visual, etc.)

 

Also when families mention we should have more of this or that they are usually saying this before looking at our calendar so I review it with them... i.e. I was told that we don't do enough exercise, but once I explained that or sport activities are also exercise they were satisfied.

 

I'm sure what you offer is sufficient, just make them aware of the adaptations... you could also add a special program just for the visually impaired, like an audio book club.

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Focus on adaptations for those who can successfully accomplish a task with, perhaps, a bingo card that has been blown up, etc. For those who are legally blind, try doing activities that stimulate the senses that are still intact. You could try dancing with someone who still has good hearing and is ambulatory. Hand massages with a lightly scented hand lotion provides touch therapy, improves circulation, aromatherapy. (Use strong scents carefully as perfumes can exacerbate COPD and other respiratory problems. Garrison Keeler is an excellent choice for audio books as his voice is soothing and easy to understand. Find out what your residents really enjoy and modify it to their level. Have some brain storming sessions with your staff...it is amazing what you can collectively come up with. Hope this helps:)

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Oh.. and cognivtive groups such as trivia, spelling bee, reminiscing, discussion, etc. that are delivered verbally are also very appropriate for the visually impaired.

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I do an activity called the guessing game. With the bottle covered so that the ones the can see will not be able to read it. I have the smell and guess what it is. You can get extracts in many diff flavors. Then you can use it for both taste and smell.

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