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Dementia programing

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For those of you that work with residents diagnosed with dementia, do you find having many shorter activities work better or a few longer activities a day work better. I try to get all of my residents involved in something each day but sometimes with group activities I feel like I'm hearding cats. As soon as I get people in the activity room, I go grab a few more people and the others have wondered off... Any one else seeing this trend?

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For my dementia residents, I find it better to do shorter activities with them. As for them leaving, bring them down to the activities room and give them something to read, color, fold, clean, etc. Something of that nature, whatever they are interested in. Smaller crafts or activities seem to work with my residents as their patience and focus is very short. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I find it can be difficult to keep dementia residents in an activity room, but if  it is only me in charge of the activity, I will let them come and go as they please. I find if I have music or can make the remaining residents laugh, then my wanderers are more likely to check out what is happening. I will also do some spontaneous activities in the hallway, balloon toss, delivering scented flowers or playing a card game like red or black will keep residents interested. Recently, we had a an activity called "Beauty Bar" where we had fifties music playing, we passed out punch and offered quick manicures and massages. Most everyone we brought stayed and had a good time!

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