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Sunday, August 21, 2011

What are activity-coordinators ?“ on the Indian Caregiver’s Corner.

“The Indian Caregiver’s Corner” :

This section is made in part, to explain theoretically the different aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease, the patients and caregivers have to face worldwide… like the impairment process, the different disorders: memory, language, organization… changes in personality and behavior…. But also, the impact of the pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions like socialization, meditation, physical exercise, the caregiver’s role and difficulties encountered in India.
Readers are invited to enrich this section to make it an experience-based one, a resourceful section for other caregivers to find there helpful tips/ways to cope with the symptoms, the daily care activities and to face specific situations in their local setting, at home, outside, with family, doctors….

"What are Activity-Coordinators" :

Generally people are very busy during the majority of our lives but as we get older mobility issues and dementia can cause many older persons to become less physically active and that can lead to isolation. When someone enters a care home an activity coordinator is there to encourage individuals to engage in a variety activities that are essential to the health and well-being of the individuals. The type of activities various as does their benefits.
Social activities :
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, productive and socially active people in the latter stages of life live significantly longer than thos who are not involved in such activities.

Leisure activities :
Leisure activities that encourage active participation and social interaction are valuable for the person with dementia. Sing-a-long, listening to radio, playing chess, physical exercise, keeping pets and craft work are common examples of leisure activities that provide opportunity for pleasure and enjoyment.
Reminiscence activities :
Through a process of recollection of the past and life reviews for the unresolved conflicts, persons with dementia could achieve more consistent and positive evaluations of their past, accept personal losses and preserve a sense of usefulness and satisfaction with their lives.

Memory training activities :
Recent memories are commonly lost first but older memories are better preserved for the person with dementia. Memory games such as cards matching, reviewing TV drama plots and news discussion are good opportunities for them to realize their memory potential and for social interaction and enjoyment.
Sensory stimulation activities :
Through focusing on a specific sense, the person with dementia could be assisted to explore familiar smells, movements, textures, sights, sounds and tastes that relate to his/her previous life experiences. Sensory stimulation could be used to improve level of alertness and awareness to the environment and arouse appropriate responses from the person with dementia. The taste of fruit, the sound of birds, the smell of flowers and texture of toys are day-to-day stimuli that could provide comfort, encourage social interaction and minimize challenging behaviour.
Edited with Permission of Tracey Knight, activity-coordinator.
from Alzheimer's Disease in India Facebook page,

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