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
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
Unique Activity Opportunities in December

In December many of us are focused on Christmas, however there are
other special events in December that lend themselves to great activities.
December is Hi Neighbor Month
December is a perfect time to do an activity I call “Hi Neighbor”. Actually you
can do this activity anytime, but December is Hi Neighbor month.
We may take our new residents for granted.
In a nursing home or assisted living facility, we are all neighbors, so doing
this activity seems natural. Click of this link to see how to do this activity is

You may want to Christmatize  this activity by singing Christmas carols and
doing some Christmas trivia as part of the activity

This is a lovely saying you can use after the activity Home is where the
heart is, The soul's bright guiding star. Home is where real love is, Where
our own dear ones are. Home means someone waiting To give a welcome
smile. Home means peace and joy and rest And everything worthwhile. --
Author Unknown
December 6th is Ira Gershwin's birthday. Gershwin is a famous composer
born in 1896. Gershwin wrote the music for many famous musicals
including. Somewhere Over the Rainbow, An American in Paris, and Shall
We Dance. You can show one of these movies at a movie time, you
probably have. You can also play a CD with Gershwin show tunes, have a
sing a long with these songs and Christmas carols or do some Gershwin
trivia. Doing trivia with some of the popular Gershwin song titles is fun
Click this link for a list of songs

December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day. This is an excellent time to honor your
veterans, especially those who fought in World War II.

You can ask if anyone remembers what he or she was doing on Pearl
Harbor Day. For many the memory of that day is still clear.

During your discussion of Pearl Harbor Day, you will want to sing some
Patriotic songs, read some Patriotic poetry and maybe do some World War
II trivia

Higher functioning residents might want to see the movie, Tora,Tora, Tora
which is an account of the events leading up to World War II.
All may want to watch, Irving Berlin’s musical, This is the Army

December 12 is Poinsettia Day. I like to buy bushes of silk Poinsettia stems,
cut the stems up with a wire cutter and distribute one or more to the
residents. This is a great gift and prop to give to a resident who gets 1:1
visits. It shows caring and can start a great discussion of the Poinsettia
plant. You can buy silk Poinsettia bushes at the dollar store or at Walmart.

You can also do a simple flower arranging project with the cut silk Poinsettia
stems and distribute the finished arrangement to some room bound
residents or you can give them as prizes at another activity.

Another great day in December is National Cocoa Day. On or around this
day, you can have a cooking project of making cocoa or cocoa sauce. Click
on each of the following four links to learn how to do it.
During the activity, you can sing Christmas carols or other appropriate
songs while you are preparing the cocoa

The first half of December is full of activity opportunities that can be related
to Christmas or done on their own merit.

If your December calendar necessitates that it be full of pre-Christmas
events, then many of these ideas can be used to fill in your calendar at
another time.