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Creative rec. ideas

Posted

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

There is a resident on my hall (not my assigned resident but he is near my group).

He has dementia but can walk and is independent with some reminders for personal care.

He is always saying he is bored and chooses to go to bed because "there is nothing else to do."

He is hard of hearing so socializing with other residents is difficult. I think he is a "loner" by choice anyway. We encourage him to take part in whatever activity is going on but he rarely goes and when he does, he quickly gets bored and returns to his room.

He rarely, if ever, has visitors :( and is a very gentle spirit who will offer hugs to any staff who can stop long enough to chat with him.

I need creative ideas for activities that he can do independently. I've tried asking him what he likes to do, but I think he just doesn't have the ability to express what hobbies he once enjoyed. He always responds "I don't know" if we ask him.

I tried bringing him the newspaper or other reading material. He accepts it greatfully and then sets it aside or even puts it in the trash.

He refuses any type of religious activity saying he isn't a church going man.

He shows absolutely no interest in T.V. and doesn't have or want one in his room.

No intrest in puzzles.

I spoke with "activities" and they have pretty much given up on finding something for him.

The only thing he's been able to tell me about his life before the nursing home is that he loves his wife (who died many years ago) and that he used to work in a factory.

I wish I could find a voluteer to come visit him now and then! He would LOVE that. :D ..."Activities" doesn't see that as an option, tho they do have "1:1 visiting time" with him daily for about 15 min. He spends the rest of the day in his bed with the blanket over his head.

Poor dear soul... Untill I got to the part where you said no puzzles that was something I was going to think of for him because it does not require interaction with others if this was uncomfortable for him.

What about painting, or some other type of art work like clay. When I did my clinicals at the Vets home they had a person that would help a group be able to paint. Even a simple paint by number. They also had a huge area of all those ceramic things they could paint and they would be sent to the kilms and they could have them in their rooms or be able to make something for family members. Some would be on display and people could buy them and the money would go to the resident that made it.

They also had someone that would come in and help make simple recipes that did not use any stoves. Such as jello or making sugar cookies. They were already baked and they just decorated them

Might seem crazy and more to the liking of a lady, but what about bead work.

Does he like word searches or crossword puzzles

My son loves oragomi(sp)

Just some ideas that came to mind

Edited by mvm2

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

Some really good ideas mvm2! I will try the paint by numbers and ask activities about clay projects. :yeah:

You are SO creative. Thanks!

Just hope it helps sweetie. It is sad, but sometimes residents just get to that point that they just want to give up and there is nothing you can do about it but try to keep showing them loving kindness.

Totally agree with painting! I know he has dementia, but use it as a memory recall exercise. Such as asking him to paint a portrait of his wife, the house he grew up in, his favorite animal, etc. And after he is done I am sure he will have some great stories. This can be something very therapeutic for him. Also, you sound like such a great, caring person. Props to you!

SeattleJess

Specializes in None yet..

Totally agree with painting! I know he has dementia, but use it as a memory recall exercise. Such as asking him to paint a portrait of his wife, the house he grew up in, his favorite animal, etc. And after he is done I am sure he will have some great stories. This can be something very therapeutic for him. Also, you sound like such a great, caring person. Props to you!

Oh, I love this idea! The people I work with are in a happier place when they are telling their stories. There is so much richness they have to share! The part of the mind that deals with shapes, colors and images seems to stay strong even when the verbal part has retreated. nlitened, you are enlightened!

And missingyou, I love your heart. You inspire me to look for ways that I can make a better life for my residents. Thank you for this post. I'm blessed to have you in my virtual team.

Keep those ideas coming, everyone. I'll be using them, too.

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

Tried the paints today and he did for a little while but was very distracted. I think he was painting because he thought we wanted him to. :o We'll try it again another day.

I did notice today that he kept setting his chair alarm off :cyclops: a bunch of times to fiddle with the light over his bed. It's one of those 3 lights where 2 go on seperately from the bottom one. He figured it was broken and wanted to fix it. ....talk about a light bulb! :cool: I'll bet he'd like to tinker with those kids erector sets or something like that...maybe a simple kids model car he can assemble....

There you go missingyou try that. And some of them are really easy ones too that do not require messy glue. We had gotten some for my son when he was maybe 9 or 10.

Some of it could be that with his dementia he is not able to focus very long on one thing either. So it might not be he is not enjoying the things you are trying to give hime to do so much as like you said he is easily distracted.

Keep it up though. Even if you seen a glimmer of intrested for even 10 minutes see it as a win for yourself. It always simply amazes me sometimes about dementia though how what you want them to focus on they won't but the odd things in this world they will be fixed on for hours.

Edited by mvm2

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

I was going to suggest tinkering of some type when you said he was a factory worker. I heard a story once about one of our dementia patients who had been an aerospace engineer, and he was happiest when he had something he could build with. K'Nex are cool and durable and can be designed into way more complicated things than Legos. But your idea of erector sets, with metal pieces and screws and bolts and nuts....awesome. Thank you for WANTING to find him something to do and working so hard on it! Dementia patients end up so shortchanged, and they really can be the best people to take care of. People seem to even regard them as less than human sometimes, and that's so wrong. Your patient is lucky to have you!