Dementia Care Resources
Dementia Care Resources
At a time of isolation for many living in care communities around the world, AG&D and our partners in France are generously sharing resources with all of us to help ease the challenges that face our healthcare professionals and residents in long-term care. Please make use of these and adapt to the needs of your particular community. Check back here periodically, or follow us on social media to be notified when more resources are added.
Support for Confinement and Isolation
ADAPTED BREATHING MEDITATION AND RELAXATION – To ease the challenges of confinement, take a break, a moment, a breath, to find calm in the present. In uncertain times, many thoughts and emotions run through everyone, including the elderly. In such a context, taking a few moments to reconnect with yourself and your breath can be a precious commodity. Here are some practical sheets adapted from meditations centered on breathing to help ease tensions and find a little calm, even if it is only for a few moments. Designed to be used individually, they can be adapted for group use (respecting social distance and protective measures, of course). For people who have never done this kind of exercise, invite them with a quiet curiosity. It only lasts a few short minutes, after all.
Invite the person to make themselves comfortable and read the instructions to them in a clear, soft voice. After the session, remember to ask how they feel, if they liked it, and if they would like to do it again another time. Do not necessarily expect immediate effects. It is the repetition of the exercises that offers significant benefits. And if some people particularly enjoy these moments, you could suggest that they conduct these short meditations for other people, once the confinement is over. Why not?
Thank you to Élisabeth Malard for her inspiration and generosity.
EXTERNAL AID TO PREPARE FOR A COVID TEST – The COVID-19 test can be especially difficult for individuals with memory deficits. Information may be forgotten or unclear, the person does not really know what is happening, why he is undergoing all this, etc. Refusal, anxiety, agitation can be expected. For professionals, this moment is particularly trying and stressful. Here is a simple external aid about the COVID-19 test in order to try to ease this recurring challenge. It is available in two font sizes, depending on the person’s reading skills (check with them) and can be changed at will.
Some advice from field experiences: provide this support to the person the day before the test, so that they can read it and reread it as they please and prepare psychologically. On the day of the test, have them accompanied by people they appreciate, whose names are indicated on the external aid. Offer to take the external aid along to the test. After the test, share a moment of well-being. Thank you to Elisabeth Malard for offering what she is using in the field, and to AG&D for sharing it. [Download here]
READING GROUP STORY – This short story, written by residents for residents, will help explain what Coronavirus is, why there have been changes to typical daily routines, and reassurance for anxious individuals. Print this into a booklet format, and read as a small group or one-to-one. Add discussion questions along the way to encourage interaction and engagement. [Download here]
MANDALAS FOR CREATIVITY AND COMFORT DURING CONFINEMENT – AG&D continues its practice of sharing tools to improve the daily lives of confined seniors, to help prevent or calm reactionary behavior or psychological difficulties. The Mandala is an adapted activity that is easy to implement during this period of confinement. The word Mandala comes from India – in Sanskrit, it means “circle, center, unity, totality”. These famous circular designs organized around a center which can continue infinitely, are practiced in all civilizations. They are also found everywhere in nature: In flowers, cobwebs, cut fruits and vegetables, in the solar system and even in our human cells.
Coloring or making a Mandala is a great tool for transformation and adjustment. By keeping us in the present moment, mandalas open us to greater self-awareness. It is a way to focus, to harmonize and sometimes even to discover an artistic ability. Apart from any spiritual or therapeutic approach, coloring a Mandala allows you to enjoy the calm, relaxation and strength it provides. Click here to download instructions and sample mandalas to get you started.
MUSCLE MAINTENANCE IN THE HOME – Maintaining a minimum of physical activity is essential for everyone in isolation or a confinement situation. This is even more true for our elders for whom a period of immobility could lead to muscle wasting, loss of strength, difficulty in walking, etc.
These exercises are suitable for older people and easy to perform, even in their bedroom. They can be offered regularly by following the principles described on the first page. Offer them at the start of the day, after washing for example. You can also print the packet and distribute it to people who can do it on their own, suggesting that they do it spontaneously as it suits them. Remember to check in with everyone during the exercises and take care of your body too! [Download the exercise packet here].
Thanks to Resanté-Vous, Guy Lecharpentier and Kevin Deloulay for making this available, and to AG&D for sharing it.
SELF-MASSAGE OF THE HANDS AND FACE FOR WELL-BEING AND RELAXATION – Our seniors can be their own best allies when they are not able to be with others. With these two adapted activity sheets, we invite you to help them care for themselves and to relax independently… without you! No need for equipment or big speech – all the ingredients that an individual would need are:
The desire to try a new technique to relax.
A little time for him or herself. (In this period of confinement for many elderly, this is not lacking).
Some preserved capacities (motor and reading).
Practical sheets to access some basic techniques for massaging oneself.
And voila! Now anyone can be an independent well-being facilitator! A big thank you to Élisabeth Malard and Élisabeth Thétas for creating these files and sharing them. Do not hesitate to share without reservation if these sheets are useful to you.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR EMOTIONS AS A CAREGIVER – Many care communities have been facing the unique circumstances of Covid with lockdowns and restrictions, so we offer a booklet for those of you who have been giving everything to take care of others. Beyond the physical fatigue during this period, emotions can also be difficult to manage. For example, it is sometimes difficult to cope with the fear of becoming infected while caring for the most vulnerable. Here is a small tool that humbly offers to support caregivers who are going through these moments of great uncertainty by providing clear information and advice to take care of one’s mind, which has been shaken up in recent months.
This is an opportunity for us to tell all these professionals that we know well, that we are there, with them, and that we will be present and as supportive as we can be. As always, feel free to share and post if you find it helpful and helpful. Thank you to Marie Lembach and Jerome Erkes for creating this resource and sharing it with the world. [Download here]
WEBINAR: ENGAGEMENT IN ISOLATION WITHIN A MEMORY CARE ENVIRONMENT – With Senior Living being one of the last segments of our society to eventually open up, Dr. Cameron Camp explores what it means to be engaged while in isolation in this webinar series from Direct Supply.
COPING AND RESILIENCY DURING PANDEMIC (INSERVICE) – Jennifer Birdsall, Ph.D., Clinical Director at CHE Behavioral Health Services, recently created an inservice through the APA “…for skilled nursing facility (and other long term care) staff on how to cope and be resilient in the face of Covid-19 stressors … This in-service 1) reviews a number of common stressors faced by our SNF colleagues as they work to care for the most vulnerable population during this pandemic, 2) normalizes the experience of stress, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms during times extreme stress (such as the Covid-19 outbreak), and 3) reviews a number of evidenced based coping skills to help manage stress.” Dr. Birdsall can be reached by email at JBirdsall@cheservices.com.
Click here for the training video.
Click here to download the presentation slides.
Click here for a video on relation techniques for skilled nursing staff by Dr. Birdsall.
GARDENING YOUR SOUL KIT – This is a small “indoor gardening kit” to share and disseminate freely to the caregivers around you! Print, cut, and tie together to create a pocket-sized self-care kit, so those that are giving care to others can also have some time to care for themselves. Each card in this kit has a 5-minute exercise to calm, connect, and find a moment of peace throughout the day. Anyone that has time to create these can drop them off for long term care staff, hospitals, or anyone that would find it useful. We have translated this kit from our friends at Diplopia in France, with drawings by a trainer and her young son.
Responsive Behavior Tools
RESPONSIVE BEHAVIOR REDUCTION FORMULA – This tool was created in conjunction with our colleagues at Florida State University College of Medicine Department of Geriatrics, who turned our formula for addressing responsive behaviors in older adults with dementia into a brief poster that can be used to understand WHY a behavior is occurring. [Download here]
- Learn more about the formula for understanding responsive behaviors in the book “Hiding the Stranger in the Mirror: A Detective’s Manual for Solving Problems Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders“
This is an activity that can be done with a small group or one-on-one. It provides practice identifying and discriminating different scents, especially those familiar to participants, and helps stimulate long term memories as well as discussion of those memories.
Corn Pouring with Funnel
Pouring is an activity that demonstrates independence, yet many persons with dementia, do not get many opportunities to pour their own drinks or to pour for others as a social grace. Lack of practice can contribute to their difficulties in executing pouring and other self-care activities… Pouring activities like this can help reinstate this skill. Remember – older adults with dementia must be allowed the opportunity to pour, and occasionally spill, to demonstrate this ability.
American Flag Puzzle
Here’s an activity the family can do together to encourages intergenerational social interaction and motor skill practice. It can also be enjoyed one-on-one with a caregiver. Our international friends can make a version using their own country’s flag, or a flag that is meaningful to the person.
Reading Roundtable® Activity Booklets are designed for engagement and reminiscence. In our new series, Dr. Camp reads select Reading Roundtable® booklets and adds even more content. View these together with your loved one or a care community resident, taking time to pause the video to invite discussion and engagement. These videos can serve as a demonstration on how to get the most out of a Reading Roundtable® Activity Booklet by elaborating on the content and adding a personal touch to connect with the story and the person you are with. Browse all our Reading Material for People with Dementia at www.cen4ard.com/product-category/reading-material-for-people-with-dementia/
Visit our YouTube page to find demonstrations, presentations, and interviews with Dr. Camp and our colleagues around the world. Here are a few of our favorites:
Accompagnament en Gerontologie et Developpments (AG&D) is our close partner in France, providing trainings, and French translations of our books. Visit them online at www.ag-d.fr.
Monarch Pathways helps organizations improve their bottom line by developing leaders, engaging employees, and aligning everyone with their organization’s core values. We have partnered with Monarch to expand and develop training for staff and management in order to ensure that the time spent training in an organization is more effective and sustainable. Visit Monarch Pathways at monarch-pathways.com.
Supplemental Product Resources and Support
Many of the products in our online store are accompanied by instruction manuals, videos, and other resources.