Social Distancing and Dice Games

Tip #1: Provide each resident with their own set of required dice to play chosen game. TIP #2: Clean dice after each activity by soaking in a sink or basin filled with hot water and antibacterial dish soap or other antibacterial cleaning agent. Tip #3: Seat residents as far apart as possible during games. (Having…

Valentine’s Day: Love is in the air…and on the canvas!

Valentines day is on the way, and it’s always nice to give your residents an opportunity to celebrate through artwork. The example shown in this tutorial is done in an ombre style, however your residents may choose to paint their background in any colour or pattern they choose. For some residents, it may be less…

Simple Geometric Painting Tutorial

This is a great option for any group of residents you may be working with, as the ‘artist’ can choose any colour combination, or pattern they wish. You may find that some people will struggle to paint different colours in each section, even with your support. The residents certainly have the option to use the…

Memory Care: How To Use Doll Therapy As A Meaningful Group Activity.

Doll therapy is so beneficial for those who are drawn to it. Having therapy dolls displayed in visible locations on memory care units, and particularly in a nursery life station setting, provides the residents with an opportunity to engage in this type of therapy when they feel inclined to. Doll therapy may not be appropriate…

Santa’s Gift Toss Game

Supplies Needed: Bean Bag Toss Game 1x white Bristol Board 1x Red Bristol Board Glue Stick or Glue Gun Black Marker Scissors Tape Thin Ribbon Making The Game: Lay sheet of red Bristol board on the face of your bean bag toss game. Putting slight pressure on the Bristol board, locate the holes underneath and…

Halloween ‘Candy Toss’ Game

Supplies Needed: Bean Bag Toss Game Bristol Board Paint and Brushes Scissors Tape Mock Candy: Ribbon + Felt + 3x Large Wooden Beads ALTERNATE OPTIONS: Regular Bean Bags OR Candy/ Mini Chocolate Bars Making The Game: Lay sheet of bristol board over top of your bean bag toss game. Putting slight pressure on the Bristol…

Painting Rocks To Help Seniors Connect With Their Community.

“Not only will the residents be spreading joy to members of their community, but it is a great opportunity to promote, and draw attention to your facility at the same time!” MemoryCareMatters.Ca A few weeks ago I took my children to our local park, and they immediately spotted a rock that had been painted. I…

‘Pictionary’ In Memory Care -A quick, fun, flexible activity.

I love activities that give the residents an opportunity to poke fun at me. If you are hesitant to try this one because you aren’t confident in your drawing skills, don’t let that stop you. In my experience, the drawings that are horrible are the ones that get the most chuckles. I like to joke…

Long Word – Short Word

This is a great intellectual activity that requires minimal preparation, and can be done as a short, timed program, or left to run it’s course as a longer activity. Equipment Required: -Large Dry Erase Board -Dry Erase Markers How is ‘Long Word – Short Word’ Played? -Choose a long word to write at the top…

Warming Up The Walls In Long Term Care -A step by step tutorial

Bare walls in long term care can feel cold, and impersonal. As much as we would all love to spend a fortune on beautiful decorations, it’s often just not in the budget. I have seen some beautiful feature walls online, with oversized scrabble style pieces spelling out family names, with photos in frames surrounding them….

Nursery Life Station -Making Doll Therapy More Accessible In Memory Care

This project has had such a lovely impact on the memory care unit where it was created. Regularly, residents can be found sitting in the nursery area, enjoying the rocker, or admiring the dolls as they ‘sleep.’ You will also find residents rummaging through baby items and folding clothing. Having a nursery on your memory…

Flower Arranging Activity

Flower arranging can be a great alternative to craft groups, particularly if the population you are working with enjoys being creative, and trying new ways to express themselves. Besides the fact that the vibrant colours are visually stimulating, this activity is also great for hand-eye coordination, and reminiscing. The program can be done in a…

Build A Bug – A Fun New Dice Game

This game is a modified version of a game called “Beetle.” The original game is a lot of fun, and people seem to really enjoy it, however it requires two staff to play, and is a very fast paced, competitive game. This is great for some residents in long term care, but can be stressful…

Sock Sorting Activity for Residents with Dementia

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,…

DIY Personalized Sorting Pots!

*Please be very cautious when using small items such as marbles, as they can be a chocking hazard. When sorting tasks with small pieces are in use by a person with dementia, please be sure that a caregiver is close by to supervise the activity. I have seen these 3 piece flower pot sets for…

Simple DIY Card Sorting Activity

This DIY card sorting task is a great way to curb boredom in long term care, and is so simple to make, that you’ll be kicking yourself for not thinking of it sooner! Supplies Needed: Deck of cards Sheet of paper Coloured printer Laminator Laminating sheet Step One: Use an internet search engine, and search…

DIY Patterned Sorting Squares

Whether you use your patterned squares as a sorting task, or for visual stimulation for residents, they will certainly come in handy when working in memory care. The assorted patterns and vivid colours can be used to connect with residents, and start conversations about a range of topics. I have used the squares to spark…

Flip Card – The perfect card game for a mixed group of residents.

Who doesn’t love a good card game?! When working in long term care, It can be challenging to find card games that can be played by residents who range in cognitive ability. ‘Flip card’ is a favourite of mine, simply because anyone can play it, and everyone seems to love it. I was recently successful…

Dementia Care- Building Confidence By Changing Your Approach.

“Can you help?” It may be a question that you currently dread being asked on a daily basis, but there will come a day when you’ll wish you still felt needed by those around you. Providing activities that are introduced as ‘tasks’, rather than ‘games’, can significantly increase the chances of a resident being open…

Simple DIY Sensory Boards

Whether you are using bright colours to catch a residents attention, soft/ silky textures to stimulate their sense of touch, or a unique material to trigger specific memories, sensory stimulation can help you to connect with low functioning residents in memory care. Sensory boards can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to reach residents,…

The Doll Therapy Debate…

When it comes down to it, people will either love the idea of doll therapy, and embrace the benefits, or they will argue that the use of dolls in dementia care is demeaning and patronizing. If you have yet to decide which side of the debate you’d like to firmly plant your feet on, then…

When A ‘Crafty’ Resident Loses Their Ability To ‘Craft’…

What can you do for someone with dementia who has always loved arts and crafts, but can no longer follow simple instructions? I have seen so many residents lose their confidence when it comes to programs that they used to enjoy, and crafts are no exception. The last thing I want is for a resident…

Balloon Swat

With this game, a few things are guaranteed; you will laugh, get some exercise, and anyone who tries to walk through the center of your ‘balloon swat circle’ will get a playful swat (likely on the rear end) from at least one of the residents. Oh, and I should warn you that the sweet little…

Movie Theatre Life Station – The Affordable Way.

Creating life stations within your memory care units does not have to eat away at your budget. Once you have a vision for what you’d like the area to look like, it’s just a matter of brainstorming the least expensive way to reach the final product you have in mind. These days, we have so…