Sunday, September 16, 2018

Activities for Advanced Dementia

I will spend some of the future posts discussing advanced dementia activities. For today I would like to share what happened recently at the nursing home.  Grandma's neighbor does not talk very much, he is not able to read, and is not able to solve puzzles, BUT he can still be involved in puzzle-solving! You will need to use puzzles that have 36 pieces (or less). There are puzzles that are available for dementia patients.  Springbok Puzzles is a wonderful puzzle company which makes puzzles for Alzheimer's patients.  They also donate money to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund.  If you want to check them out here is a link: https://www.springbok-puzzles.com


Tips:

1. Look at the cover of the box and talk to them about the picture.
2. Have the family member hold the cover of the box for you.
3. Solve the puzzle while the loved one watches you
4. Describe what you are doing, for example, "I am putting a corner piece in this side."
5. When you are finished, smile and give a "thumbs up".  

Your loved one will be happy to hear your voice, they will watch you solving the puzzle.
It gives you something to talk about, and there will be a little celebration at the end.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Short Video

A highly talented documentary filmmaker, Qinling Li, created a short video about my organizations.

Here is the link for it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBVn922H8Hg

It is also available on Zinc Media: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsZinc/videos/910495245817809/UzpfSTE2NTM5NDEzNzc6MzA2MDYxMTI5NDk5NDE0OjEwOjA6MTUzNTc4NTE5OToyODA1NzQ3MDY1OTc0MTg3MDA3/


Puzzle Time Program

Hi All, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!  I have been very busy traveling, and working on some projects.

I am very happy to share the launching of the PUZZLE TIME program with our partner organization PuzzlesToRemember !  We are currently working with 2 high schools in the NYC area. We are pairing up a high school student with a senior afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease for an hour of puzzle-solving.  The high school students will receive community service credits (often a requirement for graduation).  The benefits of puzzle-solving have been studied by many researchers.

This program will bring lots of stimulation and happiness for both of the parties. I am looking forward to training the high school students.

I am hoping this program will grow. My dream is for every state to have a PUZZLE TIME program.

Please reach out to me if you would like to have a PUZZLE TIME program in a specific facility or if you are aware of a high school that would be interested.

Our contact information: kidcaregivers@gmail.com

Hope to hear from you soon!

Friday, July 20, 2018

SMILING

Everyone loves a smiling face. I cannot think of anyone who does not enjoy seeing a happy smile.
People with Alzheimer's disease are especially in need of a smile.  There have been studies that show how much people with dementia like smiles. My mom found an article about a study. Here is a link to it. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748937/  You can ask your parents to explain it to you. It basically shows how people with Alzheimer's disease were more able to remember pictures of people who were smiling!

The tip I have for this post is very simple: SMILE, and do it often around your loved one!  It is very easy to lose your patience, but having a SMILE will make YOU feel better and your loved one. 

1. Greet your loved one with a big SMILE
2. SMILE ☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️😃😃😃often
3. When it is time to say goodbye SMILE.
4. The more SMILES, the better!


Window Shopping

Window shopping is an activity that many people enjoy.  It is basically looking into storefront windows at the things for sale. People with Alzheimer's disease are able to look at items, and it does not require a good memory to do it.  Grandma used to wear gorgeous clothes, shoes and scarves. She loves fashion!  

I took my grandma to a neighborhood with stores. We looked at the dress shops. Grandma likes to share her opinion about dresses. She knows what she likes and shares her thoughts. Grandma also likes to share what she does not like, as well. 

If you have a grandpa (or male relative) who is not interested in fashion. Go to a store window that has items that they would find interesting, for example: sporting goods store, electronics store.

Tips


1. Bring your loved one to an area with lots of store windows.
2. Look through the windows and ask your loved one to point to what they like
3. Ask them why they like the outfit, shoes, scarves, computer, fishing rod,etc.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Two Minute Activities For Dementia Patients

I researched and found a website with an amazing article about activities for Dementia patients that are quick. Here is the link:






https://www.goldencarers.com/two-minutes-activities-for-dementia-care/4889/ 

I decided to change it a bit and create a list for kids and their family members with Alzheimer's disease.

1. Smile at your family member and look into their eyes
2. Bring a bunch of silly hats or caps and try them on in front of the mirror. (Take pictures)
3. Give your loved one a compliment. Compliments are SO important. I will write a whole entry about compliments on another day!)
4. Look at pictures in a magazine. Point to your favorite colors
5. Hold hands (Family members love to be held, hugged, and touched by their loved ones
6. Play catch
7. Give a quick back rub
8. Tell your family member that you love them!
9. Give a big hug
10. Put scented hand lotion on your family member
11. Dance
12. Listen to music on headphones
13. Look at pictures on an animal or nature calendar
14. Blow bubbles
15. Fold clothes
16. Water plants
17. Hold seashells to your ears to "listen for the ocean"
18. Make a potpourri sash by wrapping spices/herbs in fabric, and guessing the scent
19. Comb your loved one's hair, and let them comb YOUR hair!
20. Read funny poems or limericks (I am thinking about Shel Silverstein!)
21. Sing a nursery rhyme
22. Share a snack
23. Look at pictures
24. Prep a puzzle for solving, by sorting the pieces (flat edges, corners, etc)

What activities can YOU add to the list?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 2018

Hi Everyone!
I have great news to share!  Along with 9 other kids, I received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for National Honoree! (https://spirit.prudential.com/honoree/2018/ny/hailey-richman) It was such an amazing experience. I am truly grateful to Prudential. I won the award for Grandma, for the people who suffer from the Alzheimer's disease and the families who love them, especially the kids! I plan to donate some of the award funds to Alzheimer's Disease research. I have lots of big plans!
I am planning to put on puppet shows for kids, to teach them about the disease. I will create short videos which will teach kids.  I am working on a book, and would like to also form Kid Caregiver clubs at schools! I also have a second organization: PuzzlesToRemember, founded by Max Wallack. (www.puzzlestoremember.org). I am the Associate Director.  I have created a PUZZLE TIME program, which pairs up a Girl Scout or kid volunteer with an Alzheimer's patient for an hour of puzzle-solving.  My plan is to have PUZZLE TIME programs nationwide, and in a few countries!  Because of the generosity of Prudential, I will now have funds to help make these plans a reality!

 I won silver (State Honoree) and gold (National Honoree) Prudential Spirit of Community medals.  I put them on grandma's neck to wear.  She did not understand why I have medals but knew it was a good thing.  She saw how happy I was inside and it made her happy. I noticed that my mood, can effect Grandma's mood!  Sometimes, we are not even aware of our moods.  When you visit your family member with Alzheimer's disease, try your best to be in a happy mood, even if you do not feel so happy. It will make the time better. Also if you pretend to be happy, it can MAKE you happy!