Improving Independence with Effective Communication

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Improving independence starts with how informed and aware your residents are with what is going on around them. Stated simply: informed residents are more independent and self-confident.

Improvements in independence correlate directly with your residents’ feelings of belonging, of being in control of their lives, and the increased likelihood they will look forward to and participate in your various activities on a regular basis.

What can you do to boost their self-confidence? I am glad you asked…

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Utilizing Large Calendars In Dementia

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Using an activity calendar for seniors with dementia is an excellent way to communicate with your residents. The larger format is easier for them to read and, when it is posted in gathering areas, it is easily accessible and lets everyone see what’s going on in the community. 

Incorporating the activity calendar on a large board with other information your residents are most interested in and will have questions about — “What day is it? What is it like outside? What is going on today?” — is an ideal format to address their specific needs.

When you present Date & Weather boards with the full month’s calendar and current day’s activities in an organized, uncluttered display, you will be helping your residents to notice, understand and perhaps even remember some of what they read. The boards are an ideal way to show guidance; a stroll down the hallway, for example — from the activity board to the dining room (where the menu board is). 

What are the key components of an activity calendar for seniors with dementia? Consider these four “Es”… 

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In The Know – Where They Want To Go

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There is nothing more reassuring than being in the right place at the right time, boosting residents’ self-esteem and confidence in their ability to be in control of their lives.

Conversely, not being where they want to be when they need to be there is frustrating and stressful, negatively affecting self-esteem and even causing anxiety.

Beyond creating attractive and highly visible announcements they will notice — using bright colours, larger fonts, and pictures or graphics to pique residents’ interest — where you display the information plays an equally important role in engaging them and helping them get there on their own, on time.

Use of the following 4 “Rs” will give your residents the confidence they need to feel in control of their lives and comfortable with their decisions.

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Increasing Participation Leads to Active Seniors

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It’s not surprising that the more active seniors are, the more involved they will become. Overall, active residents are happier and more fulfilled. Increased activity and interaction with others has a positive effect on not only quality of life, but to living a longer one as well. Participating in meaningful activities helps fulfill physical, social and emotional needs.

It’s important to provide opportunities for your residents to take part in daily living as well as social and educational activities — as often as possible. The challenge is finding ways to engage them on a regular basis and build on the level of participation.

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