Susan Berg's Activity Ideas Galore
By Susan Berg, CDP, AD,  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.
February is a LOVEly month for activities.

Here are just a few ideas, I know will add some spice to your calendar.

Most of these activities can be adapted for use at other times during the
year.

One special day I think about when I think of February is Groundhogs Day. I
do two things that can be done at other times during the year as well.

The first is taking a survey. Everyone likes to have his/her opinion heard.
Something I routinely do every week is to pass out a greeting card to every
resident when I pass out the weekly activity calendar. Yes we do a weekly
calendar in addition to the monthly calendar. I do this because I have the
weekly menu printed on the back as a courtesy to the dietary department.

Anyway whatever way you want to distribute the card which says, “Will the
Groundhog see his shadow?”   You can design it whatever way you want. If
card distribution is too much trouble, then just do a survey during another
activity at the end of January.

Then when Groundhogs day comes, check the news to see if the
groundhog saw his shadow. In our neck of the woods(Massachusetts), the
groundhog usually sees his shadow. In fact. Punxutawney Phil the official
groundhog, usually sees his shadow as well.

I usually put up a flyer on the bulletin board a week before Groundhogs
Day asking the same question, “Will the Groundhog see his shadow?” Then
on or around February 3rd, I put up another flyer saying

“The groundhog saw(or did not see his shadow). This is what most of the
residents thought would happen. Aren’t they a smart group of people?”

If I distribute Groundhog’s Day Cards, I collect them after the residents
have a chance to fill them out by circling Yes or No which is written on the
card after the question “Will the Groundhog see his shadow?”

You can do a survey about anything. This is a wonderful opportunity for
residents to express their opinion and get residents who usually spend
much of their time in their room, involved.

There are several other activities I do for Groundhogs day.

I have some stuffed groundhogs that I bring out before Groundhogs Day. I
pass them around during a  group activity. We discuss many groundhog
facts. For sensory stimulation, I have the residents feel the stuffed
groundhog. Then we talk about how it feels. We also discuss what other
things feel like this groundhog as well as the way the groundhog looks.

For those of you who have been following my blog,
http://alzact.today.com  ,
I have been discussing a sensory game.
http://alzact.today.com/2008/12/20
The explanation of the game is a multipart series.

Special things you can add for Groundhogs day are two pieces of brown
furry material, two pictures of groundhogs and two flashlights. Of course,
you can add whatever else you think is appropriate.

Let’s move on to another February activity. I always celebrate Rose Day on
or about February 12. This also happens to be Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

Just as with Poinsettia Day, I distribute silk roses to all the residents. For
information on how I did this, check your December Activity Director Today
E-Magazine.
If you do not receive this magazine and need to a reminder what I
suggested, leave a comment at
http://dementia.today.com

February activities would not be complete unless I said a few words about
Valentine’s Day.

For me, this day is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to each and
every resident and tell each person why I or we, at the long term care
facility, love him or her. I do not get a fancy entertainer. I have a Valentine’s
Day party where the residents are the stars. We serve some sort of fancy
treat. We distribute valentines. But the majority of the party is spent giving
accolades to the residents. I usually lead the residents in a few of their
favorite love songs in between the compliments to the residents. For a list
of the love songs we sing, click
http://dementia.today.com/love-songs  As
you know, music is also a great mood elevator.

When the party is over, all the residents have smiles on their faces from ear
to ear because I made them feel so good.

We continue the good feelings as we pass out a Valentine treat to those
who could not come to the party. Along with the snack, he or she gets
words of praise and a valentine.

I just love it and so will you and your residents.

For an activity for lower functioning residents about love click.
http://www.
alzheimersideas.com/page4.html

February is truly a LOVEly month for activities