Distraction activities

  1. At our facility residents start being brought into the dining area about 3:30pm in order to get everyone set up in time to eat. However, some of them are there for almost two hours before there's any food. Some get restless and agitated and I was wondering whether anyone works somewhere that they have good table distraction activities to keep them busy. I made a small list and I was planning to bring it to the supervisor so we could buy some supplies to have on hand. I'd appreciate any suggestions or feedback, I think everyone would be so much happier if they had something to do rather than just sit. It might also make life easier for me, too, since I'm called off med pass to try to deal with someone being agitated and I think they're just bored! I don't want to try anyone like a child, but I know that many of the recreation activities are similar to kids activities- so I was trying to think of things that might appeal even to adults.

    -making greeting cards
    -play doh or modeling clay
    -arranging fake flowers
    -stacking activities
    -making holiday decorations

    Any ideas or feedback appreciated.
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    About JBMmom, MSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 547; Likes: 1,127


  3. by   Nascar nurse
    My question is why in the world are they put in the dining room TWO hours prior to meal service? That is just craziness. Of course they are going to be bored and start acting up. This would be the same craziness of taking a bunch of kids into a restaurant and expecting them to just sit quietly for a couple hours. Just not going to happen. I have never been in a facility that it would take longer than 20 minutes or so to get everyone into the dining room if everyone pitched in and helped.

    Where is the activity department? Sounds like there is plenty of time for a BINGO game or a movie.
  4. by   amoLucia
    2 hours before dinner is WAAAAYYY too long! I immediately thought of residents needing toileting in that time span and I'll bet that it is a problem for your place. Also, how does the dietary dept set up their tables with so many folk coming in just to sit there? Wouldn't they be fidgeting with the plates, cups, forks, etc.??? And the requests - gimme a drink, I'm hungry, when do we eat? (just like the little ones do)!

    Way too far in advance.! I do have another suggerstion for you though. How about sing-a-longs --- with a real someone playing a piano or tapes of AGE APPROPRIATE music with another staffer actively engaging the residents to participate (not just playing musiic like elevator background music noise).
  5. by   LTCNS
    I agree that placing residents in the dining room two hours prior to dinner time is awful and IMO, borders on cruel. I would be bored out of my skull if someone made me sit at a table for two hours waiting on dinner. And I'll bet a lot of those residents need to be toileted or end up soiling themselves while they are waiting. Sounds like something needs to be fixed in a big way at that LTC. That is just so wrong on so many levels.

    As far as pre-dinner activities, coffee is always a big hit. Residents who are alert and oriented enjoy socializing over coffee and it helps pass the time.
  6. by   AngelRN27
    At my facility the only residents that are in the dining room at that time are those that engage and participate during activities which are usually Bingo, coloring, or on the weekends things like reading them the current events or attempting something artsy-craftsy. The earliest any other resident goes to the dining room is at about 4:30pm (dinner is usually on the tables at 5, 5:30pm). They try to move the most oriented residents into the dining room first, but that isn't always the case. Moving all of the residents into the dining room can be time consuming because many of them have to be changed, dressed and hoyered into a w/c in order to be moved into the dining room. It really depends on how many CNA's are staffed that day... I think that the activities are a great idea. Good luck!
  7. by   GLORIAmunchkin72
    Totally agree with the others. That is way too early!
  8. by   JBMmom
    I paid closer attention after posting this and realized that some of the earliest arrivals are able to wheel in (and out) on their own. The residents that are not independent aren't left to sit nearly as long as that. Although it still seems long enough to get bored, I know I would. Thanks for the suggestions.
  9. by   litbitblack
    Talking to them, Folding bags,towels, playing dominoes, putting together puzzles, trivia, Bingo, painting with water colors, magazines, hmmm lets see Im sure I could think of more I work dementia care