Sock sorting is a great ‘task’ style activity to use on memory care units, or with a loved one who has dementia.
This style of activity is simple to put together, and can be an effective way to reduce behaviours such as rummaging, or wandering.
Keeping busy by doing activities that feel like familiar tasks, or chores, can boost self esteem and overall mood In people living with dementia.
To put this activity together you will want to use a fairly shallow laundry basket, making it easier for the residents to access the contents.
As for the socks, any variety will work, however, I will provide Amazon links to a set that will work quite well for this activity.
The socks are primarily white, other than the toe and heel areas, which are coloured, making the activity slightly more of a challenge. This should keep the resident engaged for a longer period of time.
This sock sorting activity has many benefits.
-It is safe, and can be left out for residents to initiate on their own.
-It can be introduced by a caregiver who is attempting to redirect a person who is exhibiting signs of boredom.
-It can be used as an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation between a caregiver and resident, as they work together to assemble the pairs.
-It can encourage social engagement between residents.
Sorting tasks, such as this one, provide intellectual stimulation, as well as the opportunity to feel productive.
Boredom in long term care can lead to increased agitation, anxiety, and sometimes aggression, potentially leading to the need for pharmacological intervention.
By simply asking for assistance in sorting the laundry, you are essentially saying to the person that you see them as helpful and competent, which will lead to increased self confidence.
Encouraging residents to stay active, and engage in intellectually stimulating programming is known to improve emotional health and promote feelings of self-worth.
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