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Meaningful Activities

Today’s insight discusses meaningful activities for your loved ones with dementia. Get past the need to entertain. Do something relevant.

Transcription of Video:

I’m Deb Nygard. In today’s Insights from Arthur’s, I’m here with Kate Jabe. Kate is the residential supervisor here at Arthur’s Residential Care and she’s going to help me demonstrate some meaningful activities to do with your loved one who has dementia.

Often times, especially in a home like this facility that cares for people with dementia, we focus on entertainment and not meaning. Entertainment is fun, yet most of us, our whole lives have had to do things like cooking, cleaning, laundry and chores. It can be improtant to provide people the opportunity to do something meaningful.

Here at Arthur’s what we often do is we say our staff just simply “run out of time.” I could come to Kate if I see she’s a little bored and say, “Kate, I don’t have time to fold the laundry, would you help me?”

Kate: “Sure”

“Okay, so here’s what I’ve got, if you wouldn’t mind folding these for me you can lay it flat on your lap like this and then you can fold this way. Can you fold on the end this way? That’s great! Then you can reach down here and get another one. Would you do that for me? I’ll be back in a little bit.”

Now, Kate has a meaningful activity that she can work on and when she’s done, I can come back and pick up the folded clothes, take them out of her sight and unfold them, and then she can do it again. Another idea is sorting silverware and putting them in the right places.

You can have a person put together lug nuts — bigger ones that they can’t eat. Another time we had a person who was a teacher and we could never get our math problems done. We would present him with a sheet of math problems that he could complete. We had another man who could tie fishing lures. The idea is to have something meaningful.

I’m Deb Nygard with Arthur’s Residential Care.

Contact Deb Nygaard
Director of Development
Arthur’s Residential Care: 651-429-4798