Holiday’s and Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

It is the beginning of the holiday season, what do you have planned for your residence and family members during these busy times? In addition November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month which is a great time to make a difference.

As you prepare your activities for your residence, early and proper planning is essential in making an impact to your residence and their family members. 

This can be done by sending out notices to the family members requesting information about their family’s holiday tradition.  Seek out as much information about your resident as you can by using questionnaires that requests past activities that the family did together, this may include shopping, cooking, music played, tree cutting, flower arrangements or religious activities that occurred during this holiday time. 

Make sure you get the times the family members would like to be present or the time they plan on taking the resident member out for celebrations.  Try to include the family members in these activities, as in having the resident help the family member bake family holiday cookies at your facility, play a family game as they may have in past holiday celebrations, etc.

Play music that was included in your questionnaire if obtainable or have family members bring it with them, this brings back fond memories for all.  There are many activities that you can include both resident, family members and your staff to make this a special moment.

The information you gather goes a long way and preparing in advance.  Don’t wait to the last minute, please send out your questionnaires/invitations early on so you can prepare the activities. Match the ability of the residents needs and keep it as simple as possible when using the information you received from the family. This family bonding between you and the residence family goes a long way in their confidence in your administration and most importantly helps in the residence developmental needs.  You can take the lead or have the family member take the lead but never criticize any activities but give praise.

I had a special resident that was a stand up comedian during the 50’s, I asked her to put on a short routine for the facility during Thanksgiving week and she surprised us all.  This was a very special time as she prepared for weeks for that day and watching her jokes and presentations come back to life during her routine.  A fire was lit that day and she was awesome and a moment I will always cherish.

Separate yourselves from the ordinary…

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