Memory games, makeshift Snoezelen, room among successful interventions at Kentwood Park

Kentwood Park

Activities customized to best meet needs of residents with cognitive impairment

The Kentwood Park life enrichment team has created several interventions to ensure residents of all cognitive abilities are fully engaged in programming.

When focusing on residents with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, team members will use programming that best suits their needs, says life enrichment aide Brandy Courtney.

For example, residents living with mild or moderate cognitive impairment often benefit from programming that encourages them to discuss their fond memories.

For these residents, life enrichment staff members will use one-to-one time to sit and have a cup of tea with a resident and ask them questions about their family life, such as were they married and how many children do they have.

“We just ask some questions about their lives to bring back some of their memories,” Brandy explains.

For people with more advanced dementia, the Picton long-term care home’s life enrichment team will spend time giving people massages or doing their hair, something they really enjoy, Brandy says.

“We have a couple of residents who cannot communicate at all, but everyone should have some one-on-one time with our support, so I get some nice cream and I will go and massage their hands and put cream on their legs if they’re dry, or give a little neck massage,” she says.

Kentwood Park also has a “VIP lounge” that it has made into a makeshift Snoezelen room. Staff members will sit with residents in the room and use the sensory tools that are available.

A favourite activity is switching off the lights and using a hand-held light to project on to the walls and ceiling, as soft music from a CD player plays in the background.

“Residents really enjoy that,” Brandy says.

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