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
Something different for November

Here are some suggestions that you probably have not thought of for November.
Actually you can do these activities any time during the year.

Do I have your attention?

Did you know that the third week in November is National Bible Week? It is celebrated
from Sunday to Sunday of Thanksgiving week.

html  is some information about National Bible Week.

Most of the ideas are not practical for a nursing home. However you may have some
residents who read the bible often.

Instead of having them read the whole bible, chose a portion of the bible for them to

To simplify it even more, choose a bible story that most everyone is familiar with. A good
one is the story of “Noah’s Ark”.

Go here for a
simple feel good version of the story that has a lot of opportunity for side discussions.

As you probably recall, I like to talk about all aspects and angles of a story or
discussion. Check out
Archive200905.html in the archive section.

Here are some higher level discussion thoughts

God's purpose in the flood was not to destroy people, but to destroy wickedness and
sin. Are people basically good or bad? Are you good or bad?
The ark was exactly six times longer than it was wide. This is the same ratio used by
modern ship builders. Talk about famous modern ships. Ask your audience if anyone
was ever on a boat.

You could go on a boat ride or go to a harbor where boats are docked.
You can look at pictures of boats.

The last detail of “Noah’s Ark” talks about the first rainbow. This of course can lead you
to a discussion about color. In my book, ” 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 health care professionals, I discuss ways to talk
about and ideas on how to experiment with color. For a small portion of it go here

Here is an interesting question that should get peoples mind’s going. “Do you believe
in Noah's Ark and the Flood?” There is a forum you can join if you would like. http:
// You can also get
some other good information there.

Speaking of Christianity and spirituality, have you ever tried Mandala art with your

The Mandala (Sanskrit for “circle” or “completion”) has a long history and is recognized
for its deep spiritual meaning and representation of wholeness.

Thus it certainly applies to the spiritually of reading the bible.

Mandala is a pattern found in nature and is seen in biology, geology, chemistry, physics
and astronomy.

The very nature of creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic. The shapes and
colors the group members create in their mandala art therapy will reflect their inner self
at the time of creation. Their instincts and feelings should inspire and guide them
through the process of creation. However you can help them with the process by
explaining what Mandala art is and how to create it.

If creating a whole Mandala art piece is too difficult, them have the participants color in a
mandala drawing where the outlines are present.

For the visually impaired, make the outlines extremely dark.

For those with hand weakness or limitations, use a simple design.

I have had great success with Mandala art. I was actually surprised how many
residents were successful with our projects with very little guidance from me after the
initial explanation. I found it to be therapeutic as well.

These mandalas can be done at 1:1 visits as well.

For a further explanation and examples go to

You can do the mandalas in partnership with a school as an intergenerational project.
Remember to see the ideas from last November’s article at

Bring some spirituality to your November activity calendar by using some or all of these

You can actually use the ideas at anytime throughout the year.