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Engaging Residents with Dementia: Making Care Home Group Activities Inclusive

Engaging residents with dementia in group activities can be both rewarding and challenging. While dementia presents unique cognitive and behavioral challenges, it's essential to create inclusive activities that promote social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and a sense of belonging for all residents.

Choose activities that are easy to understand and relate to past experiences. Opt for familiar activities such as singing old songs, reminiscing about past events, or simple games like bingo or balloon volleyball.

Familiarity can help residents feel more comfortable and confident participating.

Clearly explain the activity and demonstrate the steps involved.

Use visual cues, simple language, and gestures to reinforce instructions.

Break down tasks into smaller, manageable steps to make them easier to follow.

It is important to recognise that residents with dementia may have varying levels of cognitive functioning and physical abilities.

Modify activities as needed to accommodate individual needs and preferences.

Offer different levels of participation and provide assistance or encouragement as required.

Try to minimise distractions and create a calm and welcoming atmosphere for activities. Choose a quiet, well-lit space free from clutter and excessive noise.

Use soothing background music or nature sounds to enhance relaxation and focus.

Foster a sense of community and belonging by encouraging residents to interact with each other during activities.

Facilitate conversations, group discussions, or storytelling sessions where residents can share memories, experiences, and thoughts.

Peer support and social engagement can have a positive impact on residents' wellbeing.

Provide residents with choices and opportunities to make decisions about the activities they want to participate in.

Offer a variety of options and allow residents to choose based on their interests and preferences.

Flexibility is key to accommodating individual needs and promoting autonomy.

Involve family members and friends to better understand residents' preferences, interests, and abilities.

Wherever possible, solicit their input on activity planning and encourage their involvement in group activities by inviting them to activity planning meetings, these are often called "Friends of..." groups, but your members might like to name it something else.

Friends and family participation can enhance residents' sense of connection and support.

Inclusive group activities play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for residents with dementia in care homes. By implementing these strategies and approaches, we can create engaging, purposeful, meaningful and fun experiences that promote social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and emotional wellbeing for all residents.


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