Engagement is really the key ingredient that makes the difference in the lives of our seniors. All people want to be engaged in life. It is what makes our lives valuable and worth living.
When thinking about placing someone you love in a home what do you visualize? For many people what comes to mind is residents lined up in chairs in front of the television. Not very appealing is it? While it is certainly okay to watch television, doing in all day long is not a good practice!
We Have Come a Long Way Baby! Most Professionals Understand The importance of Engagement
Nursing homes used to be the only option. And unfortunately, here in Texas, most nursing homes have about 1 caregiver for every 10 or more residents. So residents are either parked in their bed or in front of a television set. There is very little if any, engagement. The care staff is overworked and underpaid. As such they do not have time to engage with the residents. Sadly, residents who do not have family visiting often are often ignored and forgotten about.
But Thankfully Times Have Changed.
Now there are so many different options. Nursing Homes are becoming a last resort for those who have little funds. Here at Sycamore Creek Ranch, we specialize in the care of people with Dementia. And that includes residents with Alzheimer’s’. And Sycamore Creek Residents are engaged. Our care staff has the time to get to know each resident. And also the time to have meaningful interactions with them also. We understand the importance of engagement.
What Sets Apart The Exceptional Communities Is Engagement.
This is not to say that you will not still find communities that “park” the residents in front of the TV all day. And you will find this even in the expensive, Memory Care Facilities. Unfortunately, they still exist. They claim that residents do not want to participate in activities. Furthermore, they state, people with dementia can’t or won’t try new things.
This Could Not Be Further From The Truth.
People naturally want to connect with others and to have some sense of purpose. We are hardwired this way. And keeping those with dementia engaged reduces behavior problems. This will reduce the need for psychotropic medications often used to curb these undesirable behaviors. Engaging older persons with dementia has beneficial effects.
- increasing positive emotions,
- improving activities of daily living (ADL)
- improving the quality of life
I hate Bingo!!
“Patty Jo was not going to play bingo. She considered it a “lame” game for old folks. And at 86 years old she wanted no part of it!” Doug, her son
While some residents really enjoy playing bingo others clearly do not! Engagement is not just about playing games. There are a variety of different types of activities that are considered “dementia appropriate”. The key is to get the person with dementia involved in something.
Sometimes it is just simple activities they used to do at home or work.
“Bette and John used to run a business together. Letting them sit in on our weekly staff meetings made them feel important. It gave them back their dignity and a sense of purpose. We made sure they had a notepad and pen. So the staff gave Bette her own file cabinet to file her papers.”
Getting to Know the Residents is the Key to Engagement.
What type of work did they do as a young or middle-aged adult? Did they have hobbies? Or did they belong to groups and organizations? What was their role? After discovering that June was very involved with her church on the decorating committee gave her caregivers an idea. Therefore, June was now in charge of table decorations. She and a caregiver would choose flowers from the garden or sometimes take a trip to the store to get some. Then they would arrange them in vases for each of the dining tables. Sometimes they would also decorate for holidays. Furthermore, the staff discovered that Pinterest was a great place to look for ideas. June would sit with a caregiver and look at the ideas on Pinterest. Once she chooses something the staff would buy the necessary supplies.
June blossomed! Her family couldn’t believe the difference. When she entered the memory care home June was sullen and depressed. She sometimes acted out. Now she is all smiles! Now she has engaged in her community and is alive again. And her family couldn’t be happier.
Bring On The Music
And for many seniors, music is the door opener! More and more studies are showing that people with cognitive impairment often come alive with the right music. Music is becoming very popular as an activity. And it is also a way to treat people with dementia as well as children with autism. Moreover, numerous studies have now shown the value of adding music. Did you know that music may be used for relaxation? And to calm someone who may be agitated. And music is also used as a way to stimulate someone who has withdrawn. Residents who have not spoken in months may suddenly come alive with music. As such, music is a great engagement tool for people with dementia
The key is to really get to know each resident as an individual. Know what their likes and dislikes are and what they were like as children. Did they have a religious upbringing? Was it a positive experience? If so, they may enjoy singing along to favorite spiritual songs from the past. Maybe they enjoyed dancing with their spouse when they were young. Find out which music your loved one likes. Engagement with music requires choosing the right music. Remember everyone has different tastes.
The More You Know The Better Care You Will Give.
When you really dig in and learn about a resident you begin to make a stronger connection. At Sycamore Creek Ranch our goal is to know as much as we can about each resident. Furthermore, this is what we call Resident Centered Care.
See why Sycamore Creek Ranch is the Premier in Memory Care in Spring Texas.
Set up a time to take a tour with us. 832.791.1577