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It's Cajun Time!
Up to eight persons with early to middle dementia

•        Promotes positive feelings
•        Reduces depression
•        Enhances social interaction
•        Provides opportunity for exercise

Tip: Alzheimer's elderly have an increased risk of
falling compared to other older adults. So, place
the chairs along the wall, rather than in the middle
of the room, and make sure the floor is free from
clutter, and not slippery.

Materials needed:
•        A portable tape recorder
•        A tape of Cajun music
•        Egg shakers
•        Chairs, for elderly who have difficulty standing or wish to have some rest
•        Beverages and snacks, in accordance with the dietary requirements of participants

Steps to follow:
Distribute the shakers and start playing the music (ensure that the volume is comfortable for
everyone in the group).

Encourage the elderly to move to the rhythm of the music and use their egg shakers.

Let them dance for as much as they wish, but watch out for signs of tiredness.

After the dance, invite them to sit down and enjoy snacks and beverages while having a rest.

Have participants prepare-in a separate, previous session-their own homemade egg shakers. You'll
•        Plastic Easter eggs (two for each participant).
•        Rice, barley, or salt.
Next, invite the elderly to put a small quantity of rice in the bottom half of the eggs, and close with the

This is an adaptation of a music intervention developed by a team of researchers led by Dr. Alicia
Ann Clair professor and director of music therapy at the University of Arkansas for use with older
adults with middle dementia. It can be successfully implemented by non-music therapy staff who
wish to promote active music participation among their residents.

Reprinted from Activities ETC 2006! Enjoy other activities, crafts, games, and calendars in this year's
150-page edition; visit
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Music: "On the Sunny Side of the Street" furnished by Heart and Soul Music "Providing Quality Music for Nursing Homes"
From the pages of
Kate Lynch, Editor