Current Activities in Long Term Care
By Kate Lynch, Editor  www.activities4elders.com/
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Current Activities
in Longterm Care

A bi-monthly magazine that
provides useful activities,
calendars, therapeutic
activities and programs,
feature stories, specialized
activities for Alzheimer's
patients and
other disease conditions,
professional news,
medical news and much more!
 
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Mentally Restorative Activity
Looking out the Window

A frail elder at the end of life may no longer be able to enjoy the many
benefits of a walk. You can, however, enable them to keep enjoying the
sight of the outdoors by simply looking out a window.

This intervention is considered among experts as “mentally restorative.” It
not only helps the loved one stay connected with the world outside the
facility, it also promotes positive feelings and a general sense of well-being,
according to the journal Activities, Adaptation & Aging.

Therapeutic Benefits
• Provides sense of calm and relaxation.
• Improves mood and attention.
• Enhances sense of well-being.

What You Need:
• A window looking out at the facility’s garden.

Note: Ask the doctor’s permission to conduct the activity, as you have to
make sure that the person can sit upright and leave the bed for a while in a
wheelchair. Also, before the activity, find a suitable window in a quiet area
of the facility where you can conduct the intervention without being
interrupted. Check that a wheelchair can have easy access to the window.

What to Do
With the elder in front of the window, start describing the scene outside with
a gentle and soothing tone of voice. Try to draw the person’s attention
toward what you see, such as plants, flowers, a bird on a tree, and so on.
Describe colors, sounds, and shapes.

Try to promote the person’s active participation by asking simple questions
such as, “Can you see the beautiful colors of that flower?” or “Do you like
the view from here?” It’s important that you do this, even if the resident
cannot understand or respond.

With the doctor’s permission, and with the right weather, open the window.
Encourage your elder to take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the smell and
the sounds (i.e., bird singing, children playing, etc.), that come from the
outside.

Variance:
You can still carry out the activity even if there is no garden outside the
facility. There may be a park, instead, or houses, shops, and people.
These also are interesting views that can stimulate the elder’s senses and
help them stay connected with the outside world.

Tips: Check that the window is clean and that there is no glare on it. Also,
point at what you describe. If the elder wears a hearing aid, make sure that
it works properly.

If possible, conduct the activity daily, and visit the window at different times
of the day to see how the view changes.

Reprinted from Research-Based Therapeutic Activities By Lorena Tonarelli
M.Sc.
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