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Adding Engage to Engagement

Posted on: Jun 20, 2020

Whether you are 30 years old, 60 years old, or 90 years old, life should include some novelty—exposure to new and interesting things.

Socialization is, in many ways, the treatment for dementia. As a dementia friendly ministry, Christian Horizons associates know that creative activity and small moments of connection and kindness truly lift the spirits of people living with dementia, and also creates a caring community that benefits us all. 

This week Christian Horizons enters its second week of an 8-week campaign to improve the lives of its residents living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 environment socialization and activity remain important for people living with dementia. 

Currently, if you were to walk into almost any long-term care community in the country you pretty much see the same things – snacks, Bingo, exercise, music and trivia are examples. This week we invite you to mix it up a bit! Introduce some new ideas and topics for future calendars (although some of them can be introduced immediately).

You will also notice that the activities have been given a more appealing name. Who wants to come to a “Hydration” hour? Instead, Christian Horizon calendars will meet the important hydration needs of resident living in memory care with an English Tea Party or Healthy Happy Hour – language that is inviting and life-affirming.

Here are a few examples:

Local history and trivia – learn more about your hometown

Afternoon or evening concert – make more of a music program by turning into an expanded social program.

Gratitude paper hearts – encourage residents to write meaningful words with a gratitude tree filled with paper hearts.

Moving and Grooving” – add some flair to your exercise program with a more inviting name.

An Apple a Day – discuss old sayings, varieties of apples, foods with apples and more and even the legend of Johnny Appleseed. 

David Troxel, MPH, co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care and Consultant to Christian Horizons

Click on the image below to view and print a list of 20 Calendar Enhancement Ideas.

Calendar Enhancement Ideas

If you’d like more information, contact your local Christian Horizons community.