Founded by Activity Professionals
for Activity Professionals...
NAAP is the only national group that
represents activity professionals in
geriatric settings exclusively. NAAP
serves as a catalyst for both professional
and personal growth and has come to be
recognized by government officials as
the voice of the activity profession on
national issues concerning long-term
care facilities, retirement living, assisted
living, adult day services, and senior
citizen centers. NAAP is nationwide in
scope with a growing membership in
Canada and Bermuda.
The National Association of Activity
Professionals recognizes the following
The quality of life of the
is the primary reason for our services.
The strength of NAAP lies in the diversity
of its members. NAAP recognizes the
rich cultural, and educational
backgrounds of its members and values
the variety of resources represented.
The strength of NAAP also lies in the
development and promotion of scientific
research which further defines and
supports the activity profession.
NAAP values the development and
maintenance of coalitions with
organizations whose mission is similar to
that of NAAP's for the purposes of
advocacy, research, education, and
promotion of activity services and
NAAP values members who become
involved at the state and national level
to promote professional standards as well
as encourage employers to recognize
them as professionals.
NAAP affords Activity Professionals
across the country the opportunity to
speak with a common voice...
NAAP successfully worked with members
of Congress to secure a change in the
nursing home reform title of the 1987
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
(OBRA). Through our efforts, it became
mandatory that an activity program,
directed by a qualified professional, be
provided in every nursing home that
receives Medicare and/or Medicaid
NAAP was the only professional activity
association to participate in HCFA's
workgroups that revised OBRA's
interpretive guidelines now in effect.
NAAP provides assistance at the state
level to promote certification of activity
professionals, working toward uniform
professional standards for activity
|NAAP Mission Statement
To provide excellence in support services to activity professionals through education,
advocacy, technical assistance, promotion of standards,
fostering of research, and peer and industry relations.
WHY NOT JOIN NOW?
There are so many benefits when you
belong to NAAP! Each member will
receive a newsletter which will give
the updated reports on Government
Relations, Special Interests,
International Updates, Professional
Standards of Practice, Financial
Updates and a Membership Report.
Along with this comes an update
from our President, Diane Mockbee,
and our Executive Director, Charles
Members will also receive a
discounted rate at the Annual
Conference which is held in
March/April of each year.
Effective JAN 1, 2006 membership
Active Membership = $75 US dollars
Associate Membership = $65 US
International Membership (outside
US) = $65 USD
Student Membership = $55 US dollars
Supportive Membership = $99 US
Email us for more information at
You can download and mail in this
application with your payment or use
our new online registration.
COMMUNICATION WITH PERSON’S WITH DEMENTIA
DIANE MOCKBEE, BS, ADC
One of the first things to remember when interacting with a person who has a memory
impairment – Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Parkinson’s, is that there is still a unique person inside –
the person who used to be. No matter what level or function they are at you must still be
able to see their souls – their hearts and their true being. Don’t just look at the shell. Look
inside and see them for who they truly are. This unique person deserves our respect no
matter what. Many times people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are treated as
if they are children or are hard of hearing, but not the person that has lived many years as a
mother, father, professor, friend, secretary, doctor and so much more.
Dementia robs them of speech, dignity and the list just seems to keep growing. It’s up to us
to bring the person inside out and to give them true quality of life through our relationships
with them. We must step into their world and join them on their dementia journey while
never trying to drag them into the world of reality! If we do not step into their world,
everyone will lose in the end and the trust you have hoped to gain could be lost. Some
points to remember when communicating or interacting with someone with dementia are:
1. Create a calm environment. The tone of your voice and your facial expressions are
very important in speech. Try not to over-react to a situation. Take things slowly and smile
whenever possible. However, if they seem upset, don’t smile but show concern and care.
2. We must always assume that they can understand what we are saying. We must
simplify things for them, perhaps making them childlike in nature, but never, never, make
anything childish – your speech, your actions or your interactions. Therefore NEVER talk
about the person as though he/she is not present. They can sense this from you.
3. Avoid quizzing the person on names and dates. Not knowing the answer can be very
embarrassing for them. Often when given a cue, the confused person can answer. This
quizzing can also increase distrust and the belief that you are “testing” them.
4. Use gestures when trying to get your point or message across. Use touch when
trying to communicate - this will help draw their attention to you.
5. Try to appeal to their sense of humor – but never laugh at them.
6. BE REASSURING – If you don’t know the answer about someone or something, try
saying, “I’m sure everything is all right.”
7. If they ask where their mother is, never say “Oh, they’re dead, honey – after all, they
would be 138 by now. Say instead – Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman, why don’t
you tell me about her? DO NOT argue about statements you know to be untrue. Distract
gently onto a different subject if necessary instead of reactivating upsetting feelings.
8. Praise their actions – but do not patronize. Through this – don’t try to speak for them
– or they will cease talking altogether. Don’t do everything for them, or they’ll give up trying
and just let you do it. I call it “Acquired Dependence”. The more we talk and do for them the
deeper they withdraw into the world of dementia. At this point you may never get them back.
9. Simplify tasks – instead of saying – “put on your shoes and socks”, just say, “put on
your socks”. Instead of asking “Do you want “chicken, mashed potatoes and corn or roast
beef, potatoes and carrots? Say, “Do you want chicken or roast beef?” You can also say,
“It’s time for your shower” instead of “Do you want to take a shower?” Use visual cues as
needed and don’t expect them to go into their room and complete these tasks without some
guidance. Showing them an entire closet of clothing can be overwhelming, so assist by
taking out two items and letting them choose which one they want to wear. This offers them
choices and the feeling of some control over their lives.
10. Give them adequate time to respond verbally. Again, don’t speak for them.
11. Don’t treat them like they are stupid, but treat them as an adult with respect.
12. If they are angry – don’t respond with anger.
13. Be patient – your impatience will or increase their anxiety..
14. Lower the pitch of your voice – don’t shout – just because they have dementia
doesn’t mean they are hard of hearing. Also if you have a high-pitched voice try to deepen
it as they have an easier time understanding.
15. Obtain eye contact – this works for better communication.
16. Slow down – don’t talk fast – they can’t keep up with you.
17. Touch can also provide comfort.
Remember that providing quality dementia care is Comfort Care. If the person is
comfortable, anxiety, frustration and depression will decrease overall.
Oftentimes we expect way too much from those afflicted with dementia, when in all actuality,
we are the ones who create many of their frustrations. Join them in their world and
remember they only live in the “Moment”.