Our team at EngAGE EnCOURAGE™ believes that good programming begins with the concepts of learning, laughing, and creating. National and international studies continue to reveal and support the importance of moving away from “institutional or child-like activities” toward daily engagement with a meaningful purpose. Related studies show the benefits of cognitive stimulation for persons living with dementia.
In 2020 Very Well Health, an online resource for reliable, understandable, and up-to-date health information, published an article titled “Nine Things to Learn from People with Dementia.” This list can serve as a framework for structuring programming for those of us designing and selecting programs. We agree with their nine points and can add a few of our own.
- Everyone prefers to spend their time in a purposeful and meaningful way. That need doesn’t diminish with age or dementia. The need for purpose is one of the defining characteristics of human beings.
- Using adult terminology and creating a daily schedule based on meaningful ways to spend our time leaves less time for negative experiences.
- Implementing holistic learning and creative experiences ends unrelated and choppy activities while providing multiple ways to make the experience come alive.
The outcomes are visible and contagious to those around these special people:
- An increase in self-esteem and self-confidence and a willingness to try new things.
- Feelings of accomplishment and of being successful and achieving goals.
- Validation of lives well-lived by bringing life experiences to the present day.
Blending the strategies of lifelong learning plus creativity provides new and fresh experiences that support tapping into the unknown and celebrating accomplishments.
To learn more, we encourage you to read the entire Very Well Health article: https://www.verywellhealth.com/things-to-learn-from-people-living-with-dementia-4154255
EngAGE EnCOURAGE™ provides quality online classes for use in programming at assisted living communities, adult day clubs, and for memory care providers. Reach us via email or toll free by phone at (800) 990-9806.