Dealing with Dementia

At times we work with families that has to take care of an older love one struggling with dementia. It is important to empower the family with knowledge and skills to take care of their loved one.

First, we should first understand what dementia is. It is actually an umbrella term, covering other diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. The usual symptoms of dementia are loss of memory, judgement, language, attention and complex motor skills. A change in the personality of the loved one is also a common symptom of dementia.

Here is an image from www.mind-start.com to better illustrate the concept of dementia.

Now what can families do to make their lives flow easier?

Activities

An easy tool for the family to make is a Memory book. This helps the loved one to orientate themselves on their surroundings. Go check out this link for instructions and examples.

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People living with a form of dementia will be often seen fidgeting. To give them, and their care givers relief, one could give them a Fidget Apron. There are loads of different examples on the internet, but I love this one! It is such a cheerful apron.

Watch a movie! This website gives a list of movies that are best for persons living with Alzheimer’s.

Resources for care taking

Here are three websites that have many tips on how to deal with typical care taking issues, such as maintaining hygiene or agitation of the loved one. You could give the websites address to the family or even go take a look at specific problems the family is struggling with.

Go and check out these amazing sites! Keep on being resourceful 🙂

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Ice breakers

During my studies doing therapeutic group work, I had a really hard time thinking of new and fun ice breakers. Anyone who has done therapeutic group work knows what a big impact the ice breaker can have on the whole session. In the end I found great resources just for ice breakers!

But first, it is important to know how to facilitate the ice breaker correctly. Here are some tips:

1. Try to fit the ice breaker with the topic of the session! You will find that you can continue to use the ice breaker as a practical example, especially if the session is about a life skill.

2. Do it with confidence! If the group members sense that you are not confident about the ice breaker, it will seep through to them. This goes hand in hand with enthusiasm. Always be enthusiastic when introducing the ice breaker. It is also a great way to get some energy in the session

3. Remember the goal of the ice breaker (breaking the ice!). Keep the activity simple and entertaining.

Here are the links to the different websites with tons of different ice breakers:

The Game Gal

This website contains loads of different games mostly for children. She focuses more on family games, but you can use a lot of it for ice breakers. She also has free printables for different games. Great stuff!

Love to Know

They have ice breakers that can be used for any age group. Scroll on down the page and you will see different pages for ice breakers for other groups.

Here are 7 easy and simple ice breakers

I love the “Get to know you” game, but I would advise that you lessen the number of facts to 3.

Youth Workin’ It

Their games are more focused on large groups and physical play, but there are a few games you could tweak a bit, or don’t even have to change, to use as an ice breaker.

If you know of any website or a cool ice breaker, please share it in the comments 🙂

Hope you all can find this useful!

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