Forest Hill’s one-to-one cart is proving to be a proactive tool for curbing agitation

 ‘The cart not only engages the residents, it engages the life enrichment staff’

Being proactive can help prevent agitation in people affected by cognitive impairment, and one way life enrichment team members at Forest Hill stay proactive is by using a “one-to-one cart” team member Kurstin Robertson created.

Kurstin is also a college student, and as part of a class project she created this special cart which is loaded with items of varying shapes and colours that residents can sort.

Life enrichment team members will often take the cart to residents affected by cognitive impairment and invite them to choose articles to sort, explains Craig Forrest, the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, adding Kurstin “did a really great job” making the cart.

The blocks and other items inside the cart help create Montessori-like activities for residents which are geared towards individual strengths and allow for a high rate of success.

Craig notes that a major cause of agitation in residents living with cognitive impairment is boredom, so keeping people engaged with meaningful activities is important.

He adds that the cart’s benefits are twofold.

“The cart not only engages the residents, it engages the life enrichment staff, (and) this gives the staff another avenue to engage and spend time with residents,” he says. “This offers more to the residents.”

Craig is also commending Kurstin for creating this innovative cart, noting she has a gift for coming up with creative ideas.

“She is really good with activities; she has a real knack for it,” he says.

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