‘Travelling programs’ encouraging resident involvement at Garden Terrace

‘If we bring the program to people, we are making more contact’

The Garden Terrace life enrichment team is finding that individualized one-to-one programs delivered to residents at their own leisure is increasing participation, especially among those residents living with cognitive impairment.

Shannon Boisvenue, the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says her department has been focusing on programs that engage residents living with cognitive impairment to provide them with meaningful activities that meet their needs.

“Travelling programs”, which see team members go from resident to resident to provide a variety of one-to-one activities based on each resident’s interests, has hit the mark, she says.

“It could be going room to room with a dartboard and playing darts with residents for one-to-one programming, and the next person might be a resident who just wants someone to give them a hand massage, so it’s more one-to-one programming that we’re aiming at,” Shannon tells The OMNIway.

“This has been a good program because it lets us connect with more people, rather than just relying on the people who regularly attend programming. If we bring the program to people, we are making more contact.”

There are 16 residents living in each of the home’s secured neighbourhoods, and team members will either conduct programming with residents individually or in groups of two or three for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, based on each resident’s preference.

Shannon says team members speak with each resident to learn more about their interests and strengths and then create individualized activities that meet their interests and strengths.

Team members also relay information to each other to ensure everyone is kept up to date, Shannon says.

“The (life enrichment) staff does a good job of sharing that information (about) which programs have been successful with which residents,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.