Back To Basics: Person -Centered Activity Programming
September 23, 2022
Back To Basics: Person-Centered Activity Programming
It is always a good idea to return and review basic skills and knowledge regarding the service of providing meaningful and life enriching activities. Our first topic will be a closer look at the full range of activities and how to adapt it for all levels of ability and interest.
There are many levels of programming depending on the cognitive and functional ability level of the individual along with his/her interests and preferences. You need to assess individual needs, what level of program or intervention each needs, and then what type of setting: one-to-one, small group, or large group. It all depends on the goals created from the initial assessment process.
Some of these activities will be designed for all residents and others will be created for specific needs depending on long-term stay or short-term stay.
Please refer to the visual graph of levels of programming.
Levels of activities vary from those clients living long term in a community vs. those coming for short term and returning home.
Sensory Stimulation/Integration are specialized therapeutic programs for those long-term care clients who need a small group or one- to- one work with the activity professional. We are assisting this person through the five senses. They may have multiple sensory deficits and or memory issues. A progression from this group could be a reminiscing or socialization activity. Watch the arrows. Physical activity is always recommended for this level. Validation Therapy may be a good addition too.
Validation Therapy is the practice of validating what the client is telling us and feeling. Instead of disagreeing with someone or trying to re-orient them, we meet them where they are currently at - giving respect to their position and feelings. Naomi Feil, LCSW wrote a book on this.
Cognitive Stimulation or Cognitive Retraining should be offered for all levels of need and ability. Finding activities that stimulate the brain are good for all of us. They just need to be adapted to the individual needs. Many times, activity professionals will avoid offering cognitive games and activities to those clients with memory issues. They are concerned about setting them up for failure. It is just the opposite! They need these activities as much as the most alert and responsive person. It is all in the adaptations. Cognitive activities are very important in the rehab process so you will see the arrows pointing to both high and low- level activities. Always look for the abilities still intact.
Reminiscing and Socialization
Reminiscing is good for all levels. When working with a client with memory loss or dementia, they most always have the earliest memories deeply stored in the brain. So old songs, dances, pictures will bring back memories. Add in the senses and they will respond at a higher level. When you design an activity such as “Life in the Thirties”, have a picture of a child from that time period and give a copy to each person. Everyone will see something different in their picture and talk about it. At a higher level, you can talk about the depression, cost of food etc.
So this brings in the socialization aspect. Our goal is to bring a person from an activity with an object (puzzle) to an activity where they are interacting with other people. This is a big progression in meaningful activities.
These activities are also helpful in keeping people socialized and ready to be discharged.
Short-Term Rehab clients are receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy for a specific diagnosis that is covered by Medicare while they are progressing. Their goal is to rehab and go back home
After receiving rehabilitative services, a client is ready to “reintegrate” into the community. At this final stage before discharge, therapists may work on skills such as learning to use a wheelchair on the sidewalk, cross the street safely, learn how to maneuver through a shopping market or farmer’s market, how to use money and transportation. There are many skills to refresh and relearn in the area. For example, when I was a recreational therapist at Kentfield Rehab hospital, I worked with a young man who was recovering from Guillain –Barre Syndrome. He had to learn how to operate his wheelchair from a chin guard. We went down the bike path from the hospital and went to a small café to have a cold drink before returning. He did a remarkable job learning this skill and making it back into the community as independently as possible!
After having assessed an individual client’s needs, consider where their needed level of program may be in this continuum. All of these levels of program ideas are listed in Long Term Care, 7th edition, Chapters 5-9 for your further review.
The next step is to determine an appropriate activity and learn how to adapt it to the individual’s needs. Stay Tuned.
Person-Centered Programming Ideas
November 7, 2022
Person-Centered Programming Ideas
The attached documument in PDF format includes 8 pages from Long Term Care for Activity Professionals, Social Services Professionals, and Recreational Therapists, 7th Edition by Elizabeth Best-Martini, MS, CTRS; Mary Anne Weeks, MPH, SSC; Priscilla Wirth, MS, RHIA. Available on Amazon.
Designing a MAP Activity
July 20, 2022
Suggested Outline for Designing a MAP Activity
(for examples of MAP Activities, view "Hallelujah" and "Harry Potter" posts, https://www.marinactivitypro.com/blog
* Topic Title
* Presenter/s (plus optional organization and contact info):
* Purpose/Learning Objectives (Begin with action verb, list 1 to 3 objectives of this activity. Examples: Define …. Explain what … means, List….)
* Target Population
* Brief Description of Activity (1 paragraph)
* Technology Options
* Supply/Materials Options
* Precautions and Adaptations needed for different strengths and capabilities
* Environment and Set-Up
* Agenda (You might want to include how long each of the following would take: Introduction, Purpose [1 to 3 objectives], Instructions, Sample/s, Discussion, Presentations, Summary, Evaluation, Resources, Follow-Up)
* Evaluation/Assessment of Learning (1 to 5 Questions or other ways of documenting participants’ learning that relate directly to objectives)
* Where do we go from here? (Follow-Up)
*This activity outline is voluntarily donated by Marin Activity Professionals to MAP for web posting as a free public resource. Original Source: (with a few explanations/additions) Long-Term Care for Activity Professionals, Social Services Professionals, and Recreational Therapists, Seventh Edition. Authors: Elizabeth (Betsy) Best-Martini; Mary Anne Weeks; Priscilla Wirth