Monday, 2 March 2009

Dementia activities

A few years ago I was out of work and landed myself in an retirement home that catered mostly for the elderly with dementia. My job was activities person, which was quite a difficult task. 4 hours per day 60 people and tons of paper work. I worked it out as two minutes person per day, enough time to say hello. So I would recommend if you are bored and feel like doing something there is plenty of people who need your attention in retirement homes or maybe a elderly neighbour might need a visit.
These places can seem horrific on first glance but when you get to know everyone they can become a lot of fun.
My motto for growing old is if you don't use it you loose it. But sometimes we loose things when using them to much to. The attention span can be very short for people with dementia but like anything if it is fun then the attention span is longer.
So I had a vast array of activities to keep them all happy and for all the different things that they might be able to do. This one here is an easy one. Tearing up bits of Christmas wrapping paper and sticking it down to make a picture.

This one was inspired by the second world war and survival of the Lady's. Catching a chicken and ringing its neck and plucking its feathers. I did twelve drawings of the Lady's catching various birds to eat during the war period. They coloured the pictures in. The pictures then decorated the activities room.

Easter bonnets were an old favourite and can be done with one hand if the person has had a stroke or with barely no hands if both hands were completely arthritic.

This is a lantern made by everyone it took nearly a year to make with an old cane blind and paper. The final piece had fairy lights put in it and a hole in the top to let hot air out. This was suppose to be Norwich cathedral as all the people new and still remembered the landmark of there city.

Musical live entertainment is the most important part of a retirement home. It involves everyone including staff. Cheers up moral and a fresh reminder of the old days singing round the piano. This lady was an all time favourite and she did lots of instant costume changes and came with her dance partner doll. The musical entertainment that was brought in varied from bands that had been around for nearly a century to one man shows with lyric hand outs. If your a musician and feel you have no where to play your music there is a wonderful audience all waiting for you in any retirement home. Please book in advance so they can spread the entertainment out and don't be disappointed if you get canceled due to a bug going round the home.

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