Susan Berg's Activity Ideas Galore
By Susan Berg, Author, Activity Director BS(COTA/L)
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Susan Berg
Author, Activity Director
Activities Director Blog
Alzheimers Ideas
About Susan

Susan Berg has been a
healthcare professional and
educator for over 20 years. She
is the, activity director, of
many years, at Hunt Nursing
and Rehabilitation Center in
Danvers. While there, she has
gained much dementia care
and activity experience and
knowledge. She has had
special training in dementia
care and dementia activities
through the Alzheimer’s
Association and other
educational forums. Berg is the
author of Adorable
Photographs of Our Baby-
Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating
Activities and More for the
Memory Challenged, Their
Loved Ones, and Involved
Professionals, a book for those
with dementia and an
excellent resource for
caregivers and healthcare
professionals.
FEATURING TONS OF CRAFT AND BULLETIN BOARD SUPPLIES
LOW IMPACT EXERCISE SYSTEM DESIGNED WITH SENIORS IN MIND
Take a look
at Susan's book
Flash Cards are
available  to use
with Susan's Book
Note:  They can also be
used without the book
and are ideal for group
use.
A Cornucopia of Fresh Thanksgiving Activities

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Sometimes it is a forgotten
holiday. Halloween is over and everyone is getting ready for Christmas.

However Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and generally those in long
term care have pleasant memories of it. It is also a good time for all to
remember how thankful they are for what they still
have.

It is an ideal time for you, the activities director or other healthcare
professional, to express your love for the residents and to tell them how
valuable each and everyone of him/her is.

Here are some Thanksgiving activities, I think, your residents will enjoy.

The good thing about these activities is that they can be easily adapted
and modified for other holidays or just anytime days

First is a game, I call, “What’s My Thanksgiving Line?” This game is loosely
based on the classic fifties TV show called, “What’s My Line”.  However
instead of guessing an occupation, you guess a dish to be served at a
Thanksgiving dinner.

Here is a link of an explanation of how to play the game.
http://www.associatedcontent.
com/article/1013904/whats_my_thanksgiving_line.html?cat=12

Next is a musical activity called “Thanksgiving Songs” or another clever title
you come up with.

Start with a brief discussion of Thanksgiving. You can talk about the
pilgrims, the first thanksgiving, what you are thankful for, etc.

Then ask asking the participants to name songs that remind them of
Thanksgiving. Here are five.
“We Gather Together”, “Now Thank Thee All Our God”, “This is the Day”,
“Count Your Blessings”, and “Over the River and Through the Woods”
If you need the words to these songs click here
http://www.alzheimersideas.com/page23.html

Then ask you and the group members can discuss what you are all thankful
for.

Another idea is to ask one group member what another group member is
thankful for.

You could also ask what a famous person is thankful for.

Write down the suggestions. See if you can use them as lyrics to the song,
“Count Your Blessings”.

It might go something like this.

“Participant one(use his/her name)said we are blessed because(whatever
he/she said)”

You can do as many verses as you have people. If a group member is non
verbal, use thinks instead of said.

If you want to be adventurous, let the residents sing the verses.

Alternately, the group can make up a poem about Thanksgiving, using all
the things the group is thankful for.

For example, the poem could go something like this

We are thankful for………………………………….
………………………………………………………
And we are thankful for……………………………..
………………………………………………………
Yes, we sure have a lot to be thankful for.

Just fill in the spaces with all or some of the things that were mentioned in
the discussion.

An activity idea for the song “This is the Day” is to ask the group members
to describe the current day or describe Thanksgiving Day. Even though
Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, you can give it a religious twist with
this song. Make sure the description of the day is beautiful. Emphasize how
grateful we all should be about the day because the Lord has made it.
Then you can sing the song.

Another conversation idea is to compare the first Thanksgiving with
Thanksgiving today.

You should have a discussion about the first Thanksgiving before trying to
compare Thanksgiving then and now.

Here is a link to some facts about the first Thanksgiving
http://www.history.com/minisite.do?
content_type=minisite_generic&content_type_id=872&display_order=1&mini
_id=1083

Yes, Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday.

I hope you find this cornucopia of Thanksgiving ideas, useful.

Feel free to leave comments on my blog
http://activitiesdirectors.blogspot.com  I post many activity ideas on this
blog  

You may also visit my website
http://www.alzheimersideas.com

I especially want to hear about your requests for upcoming activity ideas
you would like more information about.