Activities as a Path for Culture
Change – The Best Friends Approach
David Troxel, MPH
November 25, 1901, 51 years old
Problems with every day tasks
• “I have lost myself”
Be a Best Friend
Being Person Centered
• Dx at 59. Credits dementia meds with helping.
• Uses water soluble crayons and felt tipped markers for my paintings. “Rather than limiting my artwork, my Alzheimer’s seems to have unleashed a whole new area of creativity for me.”
• Emphasizes process rather than outcome.
• Ambitious, motivated.
• Daphne continues. . .
• “One of the benefits of my art for me is that it provides me a way of communicating without words.
The colors I use are colors I find to be joyous. This is a way for me express my joy in painting and in my life. AD has really taught me to concentrate on the things I can do not on the things I can no longer do.”
Develop “the Knack”
• Knack is the “art of doing difficult things with ease.”
• Or, “clever tricks and strategies!”
• Helps in unstructured moments.
• Being in the moment
• Creative activities
Moving Toward Quality Care
We Know how to Create a Quality
Dementia Care Program
Learning & growth
Skilled, Empathetic Staff who Build Relationships
• Knowing that we cannot treat staff badly and expect a badly treated staff to treat residents well.
• Showing appreciation
• Giving them the tools to succeed.
Programs that Embrace the
• Bullet Cards
• 1-100 Campaigns
• Resident Jeopardy
• Monthly focus
• Shadow box beauty shows
• Putting Life Story to work in activity creation.
• Name tags
Person Centered Activities
• Here are some principles of Activities from a Best Friends Approach
It’s not in what is done, it’s in the doing
Should be individualized and tap into past interests and skills
Should be adult in nature
Should recall a person’s work related life
Should stimulate the senses
Sometimes doing nothing is doing something
Tap into remaining physical skills.
Should be initiated by others.
Should be voluntary
Intergenerational activities work!
Personal care is an activity.
Activities can be short
Should fulfill religious
& spiritual needs.
Activities are everywhere.
Remarkable programs create signature programs
“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.”
Music Fills the Room
Ideas for your setting
• Signature activities • Just for Men
• Evenings & Weekends
• Creating theme rooms
– the beauty parlor or
Ideas for your setting
– Flower arranging
– Gift wrapping
– Mail order shopping
– Movie musicals
– “chit chat”
– Outdoor time.
• Make it Memorable!!
• Create a Dementia
• Consider a monthly or quarterly focus.
• Embrace Life Story work even for short stays
• Innovate in activities
– Adult Learning
• Embrace creative and effective training
– Monthly focus
– Role plays
– Mini 5 or 10 minute in-services
• Follow up and model as a leadership team.
Activities you think won’t work sometimes do
• Failure Free Activities???
• How many of us lead failure free lives?
• From failure comes growth and planned activities that go in a different direction are sometimes the most fun.
• The State of Indiana
Activities as a path toward
• Allow all staff to recast their work in light of activities
• Embrace 30 second activities
• Teach activities in your staff training programs
• What’s the cook doing in the activity room?
30 Second Rule
Teaching staff (and families) that it only takes 30 seconds to be a little less task oriented and a little more person centered.